Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates
Hospitalizations of Coronavirus patients have decreased slightly and are below what has been seen during prior case surges. This is due to the efficacy of the vaccines at preventing severe illness and hospitalizations among cases. As of Tuesday, August 31st, Cape Cod Healthcare reported a total of eleven (11) patients who were being treated in their two hospitals, Falmouth Hospital and Cape Cod Hospital. This is a reduction compared to the number of patients last week. None of these eleven patients were in an intensive care unit.
The number of new daily reports of positive Coronavirus cases in the Town of Barnstable has increased during the past few weeks, as demonstrated in the graph below (see right side of graph). During the past fourteen days, the Health Division received 132 new positive COVID-19 case reports, which calculates to an average daily incidence rate of 9.4 cases per day (21.1 per 100,000 population). It should be noted that this is significantly less than the average daily incidence rate experienced just four months ago.
Local, County, State, and National Cumulative Case Counts
A total of 4,563 Town of Barnstable residents have tested positive for COVID-19 cumulatively to date. In Barnstable County, there have been a total of 15,612 positive cases and a total of 488 deaths from Coronavirus. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported there have been a total of 712,988 positive cases cumulatively in the State of Massachusetts and 17,899 deaths from COVID-19. In the United States overall, according to the John Hopkins University website, there have been 39,550,163 positive COVID-19 patients to date, resulting in 643,683 total deaths.
Our population vaccination percentage rates continue to increase each week and continue to be one of the highest compared to other counties and other states. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported this week eighty-seven percent (87%) of our Barnstable County residents who are eligible to receive vaccinations (ages 12 and older) have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and seventy-nine percent (79%) of eligible residents are fully vaccinated.
More than sixty-seven (67) vaccination clinics were held during the past eight months by Town of Barnstable Health Division staff with the great assistance of the Hyannis Fire Department, Council on Aging, Inspectional Services, and DPW staff. A majority of the clinics were held at the Barnstable Adult Community Center (formerly known as the Senior Center), at 200 Main Street, at multiple senior housing complexes, apartment buildings, and at outdoor pop-up sites. In addition, all five fire districts worked together with the Health Divisions’ contract nurses to provide vaccinations to our homebound residents.
The Town will continue to follow the orders and directives provided by of our Massachusetts Governor. Under the leadership of Town Manager Mark Ells, key officials of the Town continue to meet twice weekly to share communications relative to recent trends and scientific changes associated with the virus, CDC and State guidance and directives, as well as effectively administering the multitude of policies and programs in step with the Town’s Mission Statement and Strategic Plan as approved by the Town Council.
Schools and childcare centers continue to be subject to guidance from DESE and the MA Department of Public Health. Information is available at these websites: K-12 Schools: https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/ and Childcare/Early Education: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/eec-covid-19-resources-updates-and-information
Health Division staff continue to meet twice weekly to ensure we are providing guidance and/or enforcement in step with the recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), requirements provided by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and orders provided by the Massachusetts Governor.
Our Public Health Nurse and 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.
Requirements and Recommendations
We continue to advise everyone to continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and State requirements and/or recommendations which include to:
• Wear a face covering while indoors at a medical office and at public transportation venues (i.e. while on a bus, taxi, plane, ship, train) as required by State and Federal laws.
• Frequently wash hands for 20 seconds with soap;
• Provide cough hygiene; cough into a tissue when possible (throw it away immediately) or into your arm.
• Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose with unwashed hands.
• Stay at home from work and other activities when ill.
• Avoid contact with those who are ill.
• Stay home to isolate or quarantine when contacted and required by the Board of Health.
• Wear a face covering while indoors at retail stores and other businesses where/if requested by store management.
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