Martha’s Vineyard boards of health reported 82 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the week ending Christmas Day, a decline from weeks prior. But the count still ranks among the highest on the Island in 2021.

In their weekly case report released Monday, the Island boards of health reported that 24 of the 82 confirmed cases are among unvaccinated individuals. Fully vaccinated individuals accounted for 41 cases, two cases were in partially vaccinated people, and the vaccination status of 15 people who tested positive is unknown.

The decline in cases follows two back-to-back record-breaking weekly totals of 105 and 112 confirmed cases of Covid-19, as the Omicron variant explodes case counts around the world,  prompting new lockdowns and restrictions.

It is not yet known whether the variant is present on the Island; samples were sent for testing last week, according to Tisbury health agent Maura Valley, who is the chief spokesman for the six boards of health.

As confirmed new cases begin to decline from the recent peak, the Martha’s Vineyard hospital has seen its beds cleared of all Covid-19 patients. Last week, five people were hospitalized there with the virus.

“At the moment we have zero patients hospitalized with Covid-19,” chief nursing and operations officer Claire Seguin wrote in an email to the Gazette Monday. “The number thankfully never passed five and there have been no additional transfers. The remaining patients from last week were discharged home in good condition.”

Ms. Seguin declined to comment on the vaccination status of those who have recently been hospitalized with Covid-19, citing privacy laws. But she did release year-to-date numbers for hospitalized Covid patients, reporting that 52 patients have been hospitalized with the virus so far in 2021; 72 per cent of them had not received a vaccine.

“The sickest were unvaccinated,” Ms. Seguin said.

On Tuesday, the hospital announced the state deployed two members of the National Guard to the hospital to assist with certain non-medical operations, including traffic control and patient transport.  The length of their stay, according to a hospital press release, will be determined by the hospital’s needs.

Also Tuesday, a supply chain snafu at the TestMV Covid-19 testing site at the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury led to some complications getting Islanders tested. The site had expected a shipment of 1,000 PCR testing vials Monday, which never arrived.  The testing operation posted on its social media pages that any missed appointments would be honored Thursday. But spokesperson Mary Breslauer said in an email to the Gazette Tuesday, about 165 vials were sent over to tide the operation over until its next scheduled appointments on Thursday.

“That got us back on track so anyone who was scheduled and asked to return later today will get tested. About 30 people were asked to return,” she said. “We will now get the 1,000 vials we ordered by tomorrow, so all good.”

Since last Tuesday, the hospital has administered another 201 booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, reaching a total of 4,755. The hospital has also administered 189 first and second doses in the past two weeks.

Updated to include information on the National Guard assisting the hospital, and a supply snafu at TestMV which has been resolved.