Friday January 22, 2021
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advisory Information
During the past fourteen days, a total of 407 new probable and confirmed cases were reported in the Town of Barnstable which calculates to an average of 29.1 cases per day. Since March 19, 2020, a total of 2,320 residents of the Town have tested positive for COVID-19 cumulatively to date.
Hospitalizations of patients infected with this virus have increased during the past month in Barnstable County. As of yesterday, Cape Cod Healthcare reported fifty-three (53) positive patients who were/are being treated in their two hospitals (Falmouth Hospital and Cape Cod Hospital). Seventeen (17) patients were in the intensive care units as of yesterday.
In Barnstable County, there have been a total of 7,783 positive cases (cumulatively) and 312 deaths from Coronavirus this year. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported there have been a total of 462,910 positive cases and 13,622 deaths from COVID-19 in the State of Massachusetts this year. In the United States, 24,632,468 persons contracted the virus and a total of 410,378 persons in the United States died from the virus this year according to data received from the John Hopkins University website.
On December 14, 2020, the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force announced new test sites at the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis and at the Barnstable Fairgrounds in Falmouth. Additional testing sites on the Outer Cape have been established in partnership with Outer Cape Community Health Center. Eligibility criteria for the testing include residency in Barnstable County. To receive a test, individuals must book an appointment in advance by calling the Community Testing Line at 508-534-7103. For additional information, please click on this link: https://www.capecodhealth.org/medical-services/infectious-disease/coronavirus/covid-19-testing-process/
The Massachusetts COVID Vaccination Plan was announced and conforms to the phases and prioritized populations identified by the Centers for Disease Control. Here is a link to the three phase plan: https://barnstablehealth.com/. During Phase 1, in order of priority, clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers doing direct care of COVID-facing care, residents of long term care facilities, emergency responders (police, fire, EMS), congregate care settings, home-based healthcare workers, and healthcare workers doing non-COVID facing care are eligible for receiving vaccinations. The first shipments of vaccine were delivered to hospitals across Massachusetts for vaccinations of their healthcare workers doing direct COVID facing care of patients. The State contracted with CVS and Walgreens to arrange for vaccinations of patients and residents of long term care facilities. Also local health departments and the County Health received their first shipments for first responders. Our emergency responders (police, fire, EMS) were vaccinated by our local Health Division staff (public health nurse/contract nurses) in mid-January.
It should be noted that the Health Division has not received any additional requested vaccine and is therefore unable to hold any additional vaccination clinics for eligible groups (i.e. home healthcare workers, medical workers) in Phase 1 as of this date. Clinics will be scheduled as soon as the vaccine becomes available.
Key officials of the Town continue to meet daily to plan and implement proper actions which are in step with the Governor’s orders and MA DPH guidelines. Health Division staff continue to meet and coordinate daily to ensure we are providing the most up-to-date information to citizens and business owners relative to latest Massachusetts requirements and recommendations. Health inspectors continue to review applications and issue disposal works construction permits, review building permit applications, witness percolation tests, respond to complaints regarding hazardous wastes, retail stores, food establishments, semi-public swimming pools, hotels, recreational camps, tanning facilities, mobile food units, rental units, and horse stables. Each complaint is investigated and appropriate action is taken within 24 hours.
During these times of increasing numbers of positive case counts and patient hospitalizations, we strongly urge everyone to follow the State guidelines and to take these basic precautions which include:
- Wear a face covering while out in public where social distancing is not possible per the Governor’s order.
- 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, school, sports and other activities when ill.
- Stay home to isolate or quarantine when contacted and required by the Board of Health.
Our Public Health Nurse and team of contract nurses continue to contact those who become infected to ensure they are appropriately isolated and to contact individuals who have come into contact with them to take the required quarantine precautions.
If you should have any questions, call us at the Town of Barnstable Health Division Office at 508-862-4644.
Thomas A. McKean, RS, CHO
Director of Public Health