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Delta Variant Confirmed on Martha's Vineyard

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Martha's Vineyard Hospital
Martha's Vineyard Hospital

Martha's Vineyard Hospital reports they have confirmed cases of the highly contagious variant, among a uptick in covid-19 cases.

UPDATE: On Thursday, July 22, Martha's Vineyard Hospital issued a statement that raised the number of confirmed cases of the Delta variant on the island. The statement reads: "To date, four results have been positive for the Delta variant. All four samples came from individuals who were fully vaccinated and showing mild symptoms." This story has been updated to reflect that information.

On Wednesday it was announced that 2 people on Martha's Vineyard had tested positive for the Delta variant of COVID-19.

By Thursday, a hospital statement doubled that figure, saying 4 cases of the Delta variant have been confirmed on the island.

The presence of the highly contagious strain coincides with an uptick in COVID-19 cases on the island, even among people who have been vaccinated. There have been at least 20 cases reported on the island since the beginning of last week, from the numerous agencies testing on the island.

Hospital CEO Denise Shepici said during a press conference on Wednesday that people should again be cautious when out in public, even if they are vaccinated, because the virus is still very present.

"My personnel advice, if you can't be safely away in a certain distance in any public setting, you should wear a mask," Shepici said. "And get vaccinated if you haven't."

Still, the hospital has not admitted anyone with serious symptoms of the virus since the rise in cases started on the island last week.

Shepici says that's a testament to the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.

"Every day I look at that number and I say, 'Amazing , amazing, amazing.' Because with the uptick, you'd think we would be having hospitalizations. But, please, everybody knock on wood, that's not what we are seeing."

Over 90 percent of eligible residents on the island have been vaccinated, according to the state.