A recent uptick in Covid-19 cases since the Fourth of July has the Vineyard on edge as high summer arrives, with nine individuals testing positive for the virus over the past week, two business closures and the first positive symptomatic patients reported on the Island in months.

An even larger increase in cases has been reported over the past two weeks in Nantucket, where the coronavirus caseload has nearly doubled. The increase in patient numbers comes as the number of new cases statewide continues to stay flat — although many parts of the country are seeing surges and the Island has experienced bustling summer weekends.

Public health officials on the Island tempered their concerns on Monday, pointing to a continued increase in testing and the normal, seasonal influx of residents as primary reasons for the jump in cases.

In an interview with the Gazette, Tisbury health agent Maura Valley also noted that four of the past week’s eight cases were from the same family, partially accounting for the large numbers.

Test MV and the hospital have tested more than 6,000 people to date on the Vineyard. — Jeanna Shepard

“It seems like a crazy-large number for one week, but it’s not quite so crazy if you realize four of them are from one family,” Ms. Valley said on Monday. “Any cases are concerning, and having that large number in one week . . . is concerning. But people are getting tested.”

Lila Fischer, a public health nurse with Island Health Care, who along with Lori Perry is responsible for contact tracing on the Island, said the expansion of testing to include close contacts has allowed entire families to get tested — which wasn’t possible early in the pandemic. She also attributed the recent increase to growth in the Island’s overall population.

“I think with the increased, influx in people coming to the Island, we’re going to get more cases, because that’s where I’ve seen the most cases coming from,” Ms. Fischer said. “I just think it’s important for everyone to continue to practice social-distancing, and for employers and employees to be careful.”

Both Ms. Valley and Ms. Fischer said those changes, including the testing of asymptomatic patients, would actually be beneficial to the Island.

“Asymptomatic people are getting tested,” Ms. Valley said. “We are getting some individuals who are asymptomatic and that gives us a chance to isolate them and their contacts and have them go through the quarantine process. In that way, it’s beneficial.”

The nine positive PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test cases reported this past week constituted by far the largest number of new cases reported in a single week since the pandemic began. The previous largest number of new cases in a week was five, reported during a week in early April. The Island has now had 44 people test positive for Covid-19, and nearly twenty more test positive for antibodies or be symptomatically diagnosed with the disease.

The cases this week also included two new positive tests administered at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, the first in nearly two months. Previously, the most recent 11 cases on the Island had all been conducted at TestMV, the comprehensive coronavirus testing site at the high school. While TestMV is focused on testing asymptomatic patients for the virus, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is testing symptomatic patients and their close contacts.

“Two of the cases were from the hospital, so I would assume that they are probably symptomatic,” Ms. Valley said.

Ms. Valley also confirmed that two Island businesses have been shut down for cleaning after an employee tested positive at the TestMV site.

One of the businesses — Nancy’s Snack Bar in Oak Bluffs — was closed approximately two weeks ago for a cleaning and has since reopened. The other business — Little House Cafe — was closed on Wednesday, Ms. Valley said. Little House has since reopened after undergoing a daylong deep cleaning as well, per state and CDC guidelines.

Guidelines state that businesses must shut down for 24 hours after an employee tests positive for the virus.

On Monday, Ms. Valley said Little House was compliant with cleaning and contact-tracing regulations.

“I worked with them, they right away had all their staff tested,” Ms. Valley said.

Little House Cafe is currently only serving takeout. Ms. Valley said all other employees at the business were tested for the virus, and that those tests came back negative. While dine-in restaurants are keeping customer logs for contact-tracing purposes, Ms. Valley said that, to her knowledge, takeout businesses were not required to keep customer information.

“I’m not aware of any requirement to maintain customer logs for takeout service as the customer would not have prolonged contact with any employee,” Ms. Valley wrote in an email.

TestMV and the hospital have now tested nearly 6,000 patients combined since the pandemic began, with TestMV testing over 100 new patients daily in recent weeks. Ms. Valley said that many of the tests were going to workers who planned to start jobs, which she viewed as a positive as well, despite the uptick in numbers.

She also said she did not have enough information to attribute an increase in case numbers to the Fourth of July weekend.

“I think more people are coming to the Island, and I think more people are being tested. But I haven’t seen any connections to individuals beyond the family that tested positive. So I have nothing to base any assumptions on,” Ms. Valley said. “It is concerning when you get that number of positives, but when you are testing more, that is a good thing.”