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Second coronavirus case reported on Nantucket

A directional sign on Main Street pointed to Nantucket Cottage Hospital in Nantucket.
A directional sign on Main Street pointed to Nantucket Cottage Hospital in Nantucket.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

A Nantucket hospital on Tuesday reported the second confirmed coronavirus case on the island.

In a statement, Nantucket Cottage Hospital said the patient was screened at the hospital Saturday, and the test came back positive early Tuesday morning. The patient, whom the hospital didn’t name, will remain quarantined at home while medical providers monitor the person’s symptoms, according to the statement.

In addition, the release said, the town Health Department has started the process of tracing the patient’s contact with other individuals as well as hospital staff.

"We must do everything we can to prevent the spread of this virus in the community, so we continue to urge Nantucket residents to follow all aspects of the town’s stay at home order, practice social distancing, limit trips to the grocery store, as well as vigilant hand-washing and hygiene measures,” said Gary Shaw, hospital president and CEO, in the statement. “The actions all of us take now and in the days and weeks ahead will determine whether we are able to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our island and avoid a surge of cases that could overwhelm our hospital. Our team at NCH is doing everything we can to care for our island during this challenging time, but we will need the help and support of every member of our community to limit the potential spread of this virus.”

Tuesday’s announcement comes after the island had confirmed its first coronavirus case Sunday and issued a stay at home order. The order, which took effect Monday at 5 p.m., directs people on the island to “stay at their place of residence until further notice.”

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“This not a ‘lockdown’ and essential services such as grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurants (including take-out and coffee shops — for delivery or curbside pick-up only) remain open for business,” island officials said Sunday in a statement. “There is no reason to panic or rush out for supplies! Most Nantucketers are staying at home already.”

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On Tuesday, Governor Charlie Baker issued an order closing all non-essential businesses statewide and barring gatherings of 10 or more.

Matt Rocheleau and Dugan Arnett of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.