Today we reported 28 new cases of COVID-19 among patients who were tested on Wednesday at the Nantucket Cottage Hospital drive-through evaluation site. This the largest number of new cases we have reported for a single day of testing. A total of 105 new cases have been identified over the past week, and the seven-day positivity rate for the island is now at 7.5 percent.
COVID-19 cases have reached record highs in Massachusetts and across the country, and Nantucket is experiencing a similar surge that urgently demands our vigilance. We are grateful, and lucky, that none of these recent active cases of COVID-19 have required hospitalization yet, but the sheer number of people we have diagnosed through testing over the past week creates a potentially dangerous situation for the island.
I ask everyone on Nantucket to take personal responsibility and do all you can to reduce the potential for transmission in our community. That means wearing masks, staying physically distant, washing your hands, and not hosting or attending gatherings with people outside your immediate households. (more…)
Today we reported 46 new cases of COVID-19 among patients tested at the Nantucket Cottage Hospital drive-through evaluation site on Monday and Tuesday. This is by far the largest number of new cases we have reported over a two-day span. A total of 81 new cases have been identified over the past week, and the seven-day positivity rate for the island is now at 7.6 percent.
This represents a significant spike in transmission of the virus on Nantucket, and we must take this situation extremely seriously. Nantucket Cottage Hospital is working actively with the Nantucket Health Department and hospital staff involved with contact tracing and case investigation to learn more about these new cases, and identify and quarantine any other residents who may have been exposed to them. We urge anyone who is contacted for case investigation to cooperate fully with contact tracing efforts and request that you adhere to quarantine requirements if you have been identified as having been exposed.
We implore the community to remain vigilant and take precautions to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus on the island, including wearing masks, physical distancing, refraining from gathering in large groups, and hand hygiene.
Vaccines for COVID-19 are on the horizon and new therapeutics are rolling out, but the country and Nantucket are still experiencing significant transmission of the virus. We ask everyone in the community to take personal responsibility and utilize the simple preventative measures we know will work to keep the island safe.
Nantucket Cottage Hospital Awards $500,000 to Nantucket Interfaith Council for Emergency Medical Travel Fund
Nantucket Cottage Hospital announced this week that it has awarded a $500,000 grant to the Nantucket Interfaith Council for the creation of an endowed Emergency Medical Travel Fund to assist low-income island residents in accessing medical services that require off-island travel. The grant is one of the largest distributed to date through the hospital’s Community Health Initiative, which seeks to address the island’s most pressing health issues through collaborative, innovative, and sustainable programs. The Community Health Initiative grant funds are available through the private donations to Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s capital campaign for the island’s new hospital. As a state-approved capital project, the hospital is required to invest 5 percent of the total project cost in improving community health outside the walls of the hospital.
For patients in need of highly specialized medical care off-island, the additional burden of travel expenses can create a significant hardship and present a barrier to care for many Nantucket residents. The $500,000 grant to the Nantucket Interfaith Council, which operates Nantucket Food, Fuel, & Rental Assistance, will establish an endowed fund with the Community Foundation for Nantucket that will provide funds to applicants who meet certain income requirements to cover the costs associated with off-island travel for medical care. Access to care was one of the four priority health needs areas identified in the Community Health Improvement Plan known as Healthy Nantucket 2020 which was drafted in 2017 and has served as a roadmap to guide the investment of the hospital’s Community Health Initiative funds. (more…)