The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital reported new coronavirus cases on both Wednesday and Thursday morning this week, marking eight cases this month as officials noted an uptick in patients and urged caution for visitors with August kicking into high gear.

“I was always worried about August the most, because that’s when we see our busiest time on the Island,” hospital president and CEO Denise Schepici said Wednesday morning. “Large gatherings, a lot of close density of people, so I’m not surprised. It’s what we predicted would happen. And I have a lot of concerns about spread.”

In a press briefing Wednesday morning, chief nurse and operations officer Claire Seguin announced that the hospital had reported one new case of Covid-19. Another new case was reported Thursday, bringing the total number of people who have tested positive at the hospital to 42 since the pandemic began. The new cases this week mark the fourth case at the hospital since the beginning of August. 

Four other patients have tested positive for the virus at TestMV in August, a comprehensive testing site located at the regional high school. TestMV is focused on testing asymptomatic patients for the virus; the hospital continues to test symptomatic patients, their close contacts and hospital in-patients for the virus, Ms. Seguin said at the briefing.

The briefing was hosted by Ms. Schepici, Ms. Seguin and hospital communications spokesman Marissa Lefebvre.

With the Island entering its second week in August, Ms. Schepici noted the increase in cases both on the Vineyard and regionally, saying that the hospital was closely monitoring metrics in Boston. The hospital is part of the Mass General Brigham system, and coordinates with Boston officials regarding surge preparedness and ICU capacity. 

Three Covid-19 patients have been transferred from MVH to Boston since mid-March.

“We’ve seen an uptick in our cases on the Island, and we’ve heard from our doctors in Boston and also some in Washington that Boston is becoming a city of concern. And we are watching the trends closely as they are slowly upticking in certain parts of the city,” Ms. Schepici said.

Ms. Seguin said that the hospital would use ICU capacity and testing ability across the Mass General system as its main metrics for moving into surge planning. But Ms. Seguin said that the hospital remained in good shape right now, and that the decision to scale back reopening or to go into surge mode would be made at both a local and system-wide level. 

Ms. Schepici continued to urge residents to socially distance and wear masks in public, and suggested that if people can see through their mask when they hold it up to the sun, it isn’t strong enough. 

The hospital has now tested 3,437 patients for the virus since the pandemic began, with 42 tests coming back positive, 3,352 negative and 43 tests pending, according to numbers from Thursday morning. Ms. Seguin and Ms. Schepici said that the large number of pending tests in recent weeks is due to the hospital testing in-patients and other hospital visitors for the virus.

Ms. Schepici noted that the hospital has seen an increase in patients returning to the hospital, and again urged Islanders not to put off care. 

But in the meantime, she reiterated concerns about the arrival of peak summer on the Island, and noted that the Island’s relatively low 0.5 per cent positive rate still stacked up well with communities across the state, many of which were seeing positive rates in the two to three per cent range. 

“We’re at the height of our tourist season, and we are glad to see so many people coming here to help out the economy. We’ve done a good job. We urge everybody, especially our visitors, to not let your guard down, especially while you’re here,” Ms. Schepici said. “Our early preventative measures helped keep the curve flat on the Island . . . we can’t let our foot off the gas on that. I know I can sound like a broken record, but now is the time to keep doubling down on wearing masks in public, social distancing, and washing hands frequently.”

Ms. Schepici also announced that the hospital received a five out of five star rating for patient experience from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service. The rating shows how well the hospital performs on-average compared with other hospitals in the state, according to Ms. Schepici. Ms. Seguin said most other hospitals receive a three to four star rating.

“I think this is a testament to the incredible care delivered by our clinicians, support staff, and every other member of our team,” Ms. Schepici said.