Nantucket Cottage Hospital & Nantucket Health Department Joint Statement on New COVID-19 Cases

Dec. 5, 2020
For immediate release

On Saturday morning, we reported 64 new cases of COVID-19 among patients who were tested at Nantucket Cottage Hospital. This number includes some test results that were still pending from Wednesday, and nearly all of the testing results from Thursday and Friday. This is obviously a significant number of new cases, and while it is important to know these daily testing results as they are returned from the lab, it is more important to look at the trend, which is also very concerning. A total of 159 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified on Nantucket over the past week, and the seven-day positivity rate, which is the percent of tests that come back positive, has climbed to 10.9%. That is the highest rate we have seen since the start of the pandemic.

Among the individuals who have tested positive this week, we have seen an age range from 9 months up to 60 years old. The majority are people in their 20s and 30s. This is important because we know that COVID-19 has more severe impacts on people who are older, and have underlying health conditions. We are seeing transmission of the virus within households, and at this time we believe that this surge is impacting between 40 to 60 homes across the island.

COVID-19 cases have reached record highs in Massachusetts and across the country, and Nantucket is experiencing a similar surge that requires 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 over the past week is very troubling.

Together, the Town of Nantucket Health Department and Nantucket Cottage Hospital urge everyone on the island 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, refraining from unnecessary travel, and not hosting or attending gatherings with people outside your immediate households. We should all be behaving as if we ourselves are infected, as well as those we come in contact with in our daily lives when we are outside our homes.

We want our community to stay healthy, we want our economy to remain open, we want our schools to be able to return to in-person learning. To accomplish this, we must work together and apply the simple preventive measures that will keep this situation from getting out of control.

If you have been contacted for case investigation, please cooperate fully with contact tracing efforts. If you have been identified as having been exposed to someone with COVID-19, we request that you adhere to quarantine requirements.

The numbers we reported today are absolutely concerning, but now is not the time to panic or point fingers. There is hope on the horizon as we are actively preparing for the rollout of vaccines for this illness. But we are not there yet, and right now it is so important that we sustain our resolve to continue keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe. We implore each of you to please be part of the solution. Thank you.

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General News

12 / 5 / 2020 by

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