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Friday September 10, 2021
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Throughout the State of Massachusetts, there were a total of 622 patients who were being hospitalized for COVID-19, as of Wednesday September 8th. Of those 622 patients, 178 patients (28%) were reported to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 when they contracted the virus. 166 patients were in intensive care and 93 patients required intubation.

Here in Barnstable County, hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients have increased 27% compared to last week. Cape Cod Healthcare reported a total of fifteen (15) patients who were being treated in their two hospitals, Falmouth Hospital and Cape Cod Hospital. Of those fifteen patients, two were in intensive care.

Case Counts
The two-week average daily incidence rate continues to increase in the Town of Barnstable as demonstrated in the graph below (see right side of graph). During the past fourteen days, the Health Division received 170 new positive COVID-19 case reports, which calculates to an average daily incidence rate of 12.1 cases per day.

Local, County, State, and National Cumulative Case Counts
A total of 4,642 Town of Barnstable residents have tested positive for COVID-19 cumulatively to date. In Barnstable County, there have been a total of 16.017 positive cases and a total of 490 deaths from Coronavirus, including two deaths during the past week. . The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported there have been a total of 723,633 positive cases cumulatively in the State of Massachusetts and 17,954 deaths from COVID-19. In the United States overall, according to the John Hopkins University website, there have been 40,605,686 positive COVID-19 patients to date, resulting in 654,618 total deaths nationwide.

Our population vaccination percentage rate continues 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 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.

Moving Forward
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.

Health Division
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 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.

It should be noted that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provided updated recommendations for mask wearing which include the following:
• Persons who are not fully vaccinated should wear a mask in indoor public places;
• People who are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated. They should continue to take all precautions including wearing a well fitted mask;
• If you are fully vaccinated, to maximize protection from the Delta variant and to prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in a space where it is not possible to maintain six feet separations.

If you should have any questions, call us at the Town of Barnstable Health Division Office at 508 862 4644.

Respectfully Submitted,

Thomas A. McKean, RS, CHO
Director of Public Health