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Tiny Cuttyhunk Reports 8 Coronavirus Cases

July 21, 2020

Cuttyhunk, the most remote of the Elizabeth Islands, now has 8 positive tests for coronavirus, town officials said.

Four of the people who tested positive were on the island as of Monday, July 20, and four had since left, a selectman told The Vineyard Gazette. No one was hospitalized, the fire chief said.

Cuttyhunk, about 15 miles southwest of Falmouth on Cape Cod and about 10 miles south of Dartmouth on the South Coast of Massachusetts, is the most inhabited of the Elizabeth Islands. The island is about a mile and half long and about three-quarters of mile wide.

The island has no hospital. During the summer, the island has a single doctor at a time. Doctors are lured by the offer of free rent for the week, in exchange for offering basic medical services.

The board of health for the town of Gosnold, which includes all of the Elizabeth Islands, announced Monday, July 20 that people there must now wear masks whenever they go outside, according to a written statement posted on the town’s web site. The board of selectmen is also the board of health in the tiny town.

The small Methodist church on the island, which also serves other denominations, closed on Sunday, July 19 because of the increase in cases, according to The Vineyard Gazette.

Gosnold claims a year-round population of 75, making it the smallest town in Massachusetts – although some locals say it’s significantly smaller than that during the winter. (A report issued in 2018 by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, a regional government body that serves Dukes County, which includes the town of Gosnold, estimated the year-round population of Cuttyhunk at 20, and the peak summer population at 400, not including transient visitors.)

The island is a popular destination for boaters during the summertime and also has a rental market.

As of 2012, there were a 134 houses on the island, according to the town’s master plan.

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