The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is seeing its largest numbers of Covid and non-Covid related patients since the pandemic began, testing emergency room capacity as cases spike on-Island during the peak of summer.

In a press briefing Wednesday morning, hospital officials also said they would be reaching out to a small number of Islanders who have become eligible for a Covid-19 booster shot, with the federal government soon set to authorize third vaccination shots for the broader public.

Meanwhile, the hospital currently has three patients hospitalized with Covid-19 and a fourth patient under investigation showing Covid-like symptoms. A fifth Covid-positive patient was critically airlifted to Boston last week, hospital officials said during the media briefing Wednesday morning.

According to head of hospital operations and chief nurse Clair Seguin, one of the hospitalized patients is in serious condition, two are in fair condition and one is in good condition. The airlifted patient was in critical condition, Ms. Seguin said.

“This is the highest amount of Covid-positive patient activity that we’ve had since the onset of the pandemic,” Ms. Seguin said at the briefing.

The sharp rise in Covid-19 hospitalizations comes as the Island has seen a dramatic increase in case numbers throughout August. Health officials reported 87 new positive PCR tests last week, as well as a handful of positive over-the-counter Covid tests.

While hospital officials could not disclose the individual vaccination status of specific patients, they said the sickest patients were unvaccinated.

“It’s a mix,” Ms. Seguin said. “I would say the sickest patients have been unvaccinated.”

Hospital president and CEO Denise Schepici said the uptick in Covid hospitalizations and cases has also been paired with a rise in non-Covid related hospital business, particularly in the emergency room. Wait times for non-emergency treatment can stretch as long as two to three hours, she said.

“The increase in cases is also coming at a very busy time for the hospital,” Ms. Schepici said. “We’re bursting at the seams.”

Ms. Schepici said Islanders who deferred care during the pandemic, general summer colds as well as people with mild Covid-19 symptoms coming to the emergency room seeking care, were all factors the hospital’s particularly busy month. She pressed people to exercise judgment about when they decide to come to the emergency room.

“We are pretty jam packed,” Ms. Schepici said. “This is why we have been encouraging folks not to come to the emergency room unless . . . you are feeling really, really sick and you feel like it’s an emergency.”

At the briefing hospital officials also said calls would go out to specific Islanders who are eligible for a third Covid-19 vaccination shot with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

A second Johnson & Johnson shot has not yet been authorized, according to hospital officials.

Current eligibility is based upon the length of time between the second and third dose — which should be around eight months — as well as medical criteria, hospital officials said.

“The key variable here is eight months after the second dose,” Ms. Schepici said.

Federal approval of the third shot is expected soon, according to hospital officials. A couple hundred Island patients are already eligible, they said.

Hospital officials expected the broader third-shot vaccine rollout to closely follow rollout for the first and second shots, except with fewer supply issues.

Meanwhile, they said the increase in cases had prompted an increase in the number of patients arriving at the hospital for a first-dose Covid-19 vaccine. Approximately 80 patients per day are coming to receive their first shots, after vaccination rates dropped to near-zero earlier in the summer.

Officials attributed the increase to concern about rising cases among initially vaccine-hesitant people, as well as an influx of visitors, and emerging vaccine requirements by colleges and workplaces.

But even beyond Covid, hospital busyness remains a concern as the countdown begins to the end of summer.

“It’s deferred care . . . an exacerbation of many things,” Ms. Schepici said. “We’re hoping there will be a reprieve in September. But that’s a prayer right now.”