Covid-19 cases have shot back up on Martha’s Vineyard, with health agents reporting 48 new positive tests during the first week in August, including three case clusters at Edgartown businesses.

In an email Monday, Martha's Vineyard Hospital spokesman Marissa Lefebvre confirmed that there is one patient currently hospitalized with the virus. Ms. Lefebvre said the patient was hospitalized Sunday in serious condition.

Case counts are climbing again. — Island Boards of Health

The hospital classifies patient condition as good, fair, serious or critical, in increasing order of severity.

According to a follow-up email from Ms. Lefebvre, the patient had only received their first dose of the vaccine.

The hospital had not reported a new Covid-19 hospitalization since last spring.

The 48 new cases represent the highest weekly total since mid-May, after cases declined to near-zero levels during the beginning months of the summer.

But with the Delta case variant present on the Island, cases have risen dramatically since the end of July, prompting the reappearance of masks at the peak of the Vineyard’s busy season and a handful of restaurant closures.

In a weekly case update, health agents said 35 of the 48 new cases reported between August 1 and August 7 were symptomatic, two were asymptomatic and 11 were unknown.

Twenty-five of the cases are among fully vaccinated residents, one among partially vaccinated residents, 20 among unvaccinated residents and two are unknown.

Since July, the Island has reported 102 new cases, with 49, or just under 50 per cent, coming among fully-vaccinated residents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, all three vaccines are effective at significantly reducing the likelihood of severe illness from the Covid-19 virus, although so-called breakthrough cases with mild symptoms are possible.

The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital has not reported a new Covid-19 hospitalization since last spring.

In the Monday update, health agents reported three new Covid-19 case clusters among staff at Edgartown businesses.

According to the report, 14 staff members at Alchemy restaurant have tested positive for the virus.

In an Instagram post on Saturday, the restaurant stated that it would be closing “for a few days out of an abundance of caution” and testing all staff.

The Port Hunter restaurant has remained closed since August 2 after five staff members have tested positive for the virus. The restaurant said on its website that it plans to reopen on Tuesday, August 10.

Health agents also reported six cases among staff at the Harbor View Hotel, with two confirmed via PCR test and four probable cases from over-the-counter tests.

Businesses are not required to close after positive Covid-19 tests among staff, according to health agents.

The Covington restaurant in downtown Edgartown also closed Monday after a staff member tested positive for the virus. The restaurant said other staff were receiving tests, and did not provide a date for its reopening. The restaurant is closed on Tuesdays.

The new cases appear to mainly involve people under the age of 40, with 18 of the 48 cases among people in their 20s, according to the report.

Since the pandemic began, the Island has reported 1,609 confirmed positive cases of Covid-19, with about 18 per cent among people in their 20s — a significantly smaller proportion than the nearly 40 per cent reported this week.

Most confirmed positive cases continue to be reported by the hospital, although 15 new positive cases were reported by TestMV — the Island’s free, asymptomatic testing site located at the West Tisbury School. The hospital reported 35 new cases of the virus this week.

The state Department of Public Health reported in its August 5 update that 88 per cent of Dukes County has been fully vaccinated, based on 2019 census data.

Cases continue to climb regionally and across the state, with 1,111 new cases reported Friday.

Late last week Nantucket issued a mandatory mask rule for indoor public spaces after cases rose on the Island in recent weeks, according to the Inquirer and Mirror.