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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advisory Information

On March 13, 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) confirmed the first positive case of the COVID-19 in Barnstable County.  The patient was admitted to a Cape Cod Healthcare Hospital with respiratory symptoms and was screened following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria.  Cape Cod Healthcare consulted with the DPH which approved the patient for COVID-19 testing.  The test result was reported positive approximately 24 hours later.   For more information, here is a link to the full press release which was released today:

The risk to our residents of contracting COVID-19 remains low.  Postponements and cancellations of upcoming events, schools, and other programs were taken as precautionary to protect our residents.  It is important to note that, at this time, our residents are more likely to become sick with a cold or the seasonal flu.  Many of the symptoms of Influenza and Coronavirus are similar and some of the precautions are the same.  Basic precautions include:

  • Frequent hand-washing, for 20 seconds with soap.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Cough hygiene – into a tissue when possible (throw it away immediately) or into your arm.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with those who are ill.
  • Stay home yourself from work or school when ill.

The Town of Barnstable Public Health Division will continue to monitor the progress of the COVID-19 cases in the United States.  We will continue to review and post the most up-to-date information from dependable sources to keep you informed.  Our Town has an emergency response plan for public health emergencies should we need to implement it in the future.  We recommend visiting the following websites with reliable information: Center for Disease Control and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  For the latest on case counts, visit the Centers for Diseases Control website: CDC website.  Reported cases globally in real-time are also listed on the John Hopkins University site.  The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) reported yesterday there are a total of 123 confirmed or presumptive positive cases in Massachusetts (18 confirmed and 105 presumptive positive).  MA Public Health Laboratory’s results are considered ‘presumptive positive’ while awaiting confirmation from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Influenza vaccinations are available here at the Health Division Office.  You may schedule an appointment for a flu shot by calling our Public Health Nurse, Margaret (Peg) Stanton R.N, directly at 508-862-4648.

Thomas A. McKean,RS, CHO

Director of Public Health