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Martha's Vineyard - How open is it?

Old 06-19-2020, 09:46 PM
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Default Martha's Vineyard - How open is it?

Just curious as to how "open" the Vineyard is relative to moorings, restaurants, stores, etc due to Covid-19 ? I know what the MASS regulations are and have been paying attention to what their guidelines are, but that doesn't mean places have to open. If stores are open, are they controlling the volume of people in the stores? Are they requiring masks? Are they monitoring these controls?

I love the Vineyard and usually go a several times a year, but I know they draw a crown from across the country (and international). I just want to get a feel for how safe it will be.
Old 06-20-2020, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Recovery Room View Post
Just curious as to how "open" the Vineyard is relative to moorings, restaurants, stores, etc due to Covid-19 ? I know what the MASS regulations are and have been paying attention to what their guidelines are, but that doesn't mean places have to open. If stores are open, are they controlling the volume of people in the stores? Are they requiring masks? Are they monitoring these controls?

I love the Vineyard and usually go a several times a year, but I know they draw a crown from across the country (and international). I just want to get a feel for how safe it will be.
That's not an easy question to answer. The summer season in some ways appears to be building earlier than normal. That's probably because kids were not in school and many people were working remotely or not working at all. For the past two weeks, there are many more cars on the road with out of state plates, the usual NY, NJ, Connecticut folks. Yes, you are required to wear a mask in any enclosed area such as a store or in any place including out of doors when it is not possible to maintain a distance. The Vineyard Gazette and the MV Times both publish lists of what is open. Many restaurants now offer take out and some have opened with table seating. Oak Bluffs was reportedly almost as crowded as a normal summer last weekend with lots of people jostling one another -- a high proportion of whom were not wearing masks despite the state and local requirements.

The harbors are not as busy as usual and have some limitations to reduce the number of boats that can be in slips or on moorings. But yesterday evening in Menemsha, we had quite a few transient boats, especially considering that the harbor was completely closed to non-residents until just this past Monday.

You definitely will not have a typical visitor experience of strolling around visiting lots of shops and restaurants if that is what you like to do.

As to the safety issue, just think about the math. No one can say exactly how many more people are here now than three or four weeks ago. The extremely good record of the island in avoiding the local spread of Covid-19 was possible because there were not very many people around, far fewer people were coming and going from the mainland, people were extremely careful about wearing masks and maintaining distance, and the local health departments did a great job of jumping on the small number of identified cases and tracing exposure and imposing quarantines. For all of April and May, I don't remember seeing anyone who was not very carefully following the rules. My own feeling is that the tourists are thinking "Martha's Vineyard doesn't have Covid cases so it is perfectly safe and I don't need to wear or mask or stay 6 feet away from people." But if there are 20,000 more people on the island who all came by definition from someplace else with a much higher infection rate, even if only 1% are potentially infectious, it means there are now 200 people walking around who could be spreading the virus. We'll just have to see whether that leads to a "spike" here.
Old 06-20-2020, 09:58 AM
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Good post Nomans.
Old 06-20-2020, 09:12 PM
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Thanks Nomans. Do you know about the buses? Mandatory masks? Is it enforced?
Old 06-21-2020, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Recovery Room View Post
Thanks Nomans. Do you know about the buses? Mandatory masks? Is it enforced?
I see the buses on the road. The schedule was curtailed so check the VTA website. Yes it is mandatory to wear a mask in indoor locations, on the buses, and any place where you cannot maintain distance. I don't think anyone is going to give you a summons for not wearing a mask unless you are a jerk about it to the police. I think you will find that most business establishments will not welcome you without a mask, however. Besides, if you are coming here, why wouldn't you want to comply with the rules and help ensure we can continue to have a very low incidence of the disease?
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Old 06-21-2020, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Nomans View Post
I see the buses on the road. The schedule was curtailed so check the VTA website. Yes it is mandatory to wear a mask in indoor locations, on the buses, and any place where you cannot maintain distance. I don't think anyone is going to give you a summons for not wearing a mask unless you are a jerk about it to the police. I think you will find that most business establishments will not welcome you without a mask, however. Besides, if you are coming here, why wouldn't you want to comply with the rules and help ensure we can continue to have a very low incidence of the disease?

thanks for your response. I certainly am not looking to bypass regulations in fact quite the contrary. I am just trying to get a feel as to how safe we would be and feel going to the island. Perhaps a bit paranoid, but am looking for assurances that the policies are reasonably followed so that we stay safe. COVID-19 is not something I’d like to take back with me when I leave

so far it seems that you can be safe in most areas but some areas may have to be avoided as some people are not following the rules

Thanks
Old 06-21-2020, 07:53 PM
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I'm also up in Gay Head, so depending on where you are staying this might not be applicable.

Chilmark harbor is surprisingly busy, with transient dockage at 1/2 capacity or so as of today. My mooring field in the pond is filling up to business as usual levels.

Much of the island is open but expect to wear masks to get into any store. Take out is the norm, but restaurants are slowly reopening. The island is far from deserted, but not as crowded as years past in my opinion

I was just down in OB running errands and admit the lack of masks and crowds were disturbing. I get folks look to have a "normal" summer, and shops need to make hay when the sun is shining, but Covid precautions were seemingly lacking. Then again, what do I know.

Can't comment on Tisbury or VH as I haven't been to either lately.

Edgartown has a few streets closed to enable outdoor dining. It is actually quite nice. Crowds seem down a bit, as I drove in and parked right downtown without the usual circling.

Folks with NY and CT plates occasionally get the stink eye up here, but likely from the same folks that always had something to complain about and now have an easier target to identify.

Hope this helps

Vin





Old 06-22-2020, 09:40 PM
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Took the boat to OB yesterday. Besides wearing the masks in the stores it was pretty much a normal day with slightly less traffic. Got there early and there were plenty of moorings available. They told me they would not raft up unless I wanted them to. Ate at the lookout in their outdoor tent and had a nice day.
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Old 06-23-2020, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Recovery Room View Post
thanks for your response. I certainly am not looking to bypass regulations in fact quite the contrary. I am just trying to get a feel as to how safe we would be and feel going to the island. Perhaps a bit paranoid, but am looking for assurances that the policies are reasonably followed so that we stay safe. COVID-19 is not something I’d like to take back with me when I leave

so far it seems that you can be safe in most areas but some areas may have to be avoided as some people are not following the rules

Thanks
Oh sorry I misunderstood your comment. I think an honest answer to your point is that it is very hard to really know just yet how safe it is on the island. It is only recently that the number of people have increased and the restrictions relaxed. We don't know if that is going to produce an increase in the infection rate as has happened in other parts of the country. However, common sense would suggest that if you and your family exercise care to avoid crowds, wear a mask, and wash your hands after potential exposure, it should be as safe as your home area. Oak Bluffs seems to be the most problematic. That's hardly a surprise given that historically it has attracted a somewhat more rowdy crowd of party types who frequent the bars and enjoy the crowd scene.
Old 06-23-2020, 06:19 AM
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It is good to hear that with a little precaution, we can still have an enjoyable summer. Cheers and stay well!
Old 06-23-2020, 10:55 AM
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There is a pretty elaborate drive through COVID testing site in the parking lot of MV High School. No reason for people not to get tested if symptomatic.
Old 06-23-2020, 11:49 AM
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Going to be in OB for first week in August ,looking forward to it.We tie up in the private docks a few houses seaward from the liquor store,good spot.
Old 06-23-2020, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by MV Kevin View Post
There is a pretty elaborate drive through COVID testing site in the parking lot of MV High School. No reason for people not to get tested if symptomatic.
Except I think the MVRHS test spot is just for asymptomatic people . Hospital outside test station for symptomatic . Could be wrong.
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Old 06-23-2020, 07:40 PM
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Just got back tonight from a quick mid-week buzz over to OB. Pretty quiet but what do you expect on a Tuesday in June. The most significant difference I noticed was the dramatically reduced menu upstairs at Nancy's. The launch sells masks for a buck. You need them in the restaurants anyway.

Mike

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