Topics: Health

Amid mounting pressure to reopen the state’s dormant economy, officials are warning that with COVID-19, caution remains the watchword. Gov. Charlie Baker this week announced a strategy for gradually reopening businesses, though the timing has yet to be decided. With the Memorial Day weekend just over a week away, business and civic leaders on the Lower Cape are all ears. An economic reopening advisory board...

CHATHAM — Though it’s still too early to predict the exact financial impact of COVID-19 on the next town budget, officials are bracing for significant reductions and are finding new ways to trim spending and lighten the burden on taxpayers. Even so, the town's property tax rate will increase for the first time in three years. At last Thursday’s board meeting, selectmen reviewed the latest revision of the fi...

CHATHAM — Even a few months ago, a summer without band concerts, the July 4 parade and crowded beaches seemed unimaginable. But in a heavily attended virtual forum Monday, speaker after speaker supported just that kind of approach in the fight against COVID-19. The board of selectmen and board of health will hold a joint meeting Monday, May 18 at 6 p.m. to discuss comments made at the forum and updates on the ...

HARWICH — Selectmen are awaiting legislation making its way through Beacon Hill that includes provisions on how municipalities in Massachusetts can address town meetings and funding a budget moving into FY21. Interim Town Administrator Joseph Powers said legislation has been approved in the Senate that will allow town meeting actions just on financial issues. But there has been no clear definition on what “fin...

HARWICH — The number of deaths in town related to COVID-19 has risen to 11, Health Director Meggan Eldredge told selectmen Monday night. The Wingate of Harwich nursing home accounts for seven of those deaths, she reported, although a nursing home spokesperson said nine of the facility's residents have died of the virus. There have been a total of 101 cases in Harwich, with 38 among residents and 63 at Wingate....

Doing Good

By: Staff Reports and Contributors

Do you know someone who is going above and beyond in this extraordinary time? Let us know! For the next few weeks we'll be highlighting those who do good deeds in our local communities by selflessly helping their neighbors. Drop us an email at editor@capecodchronicle.com if you know of any good deeds you'd like to see exposed. Ornaments Raise Money For Front-line Workers Blue heart ornaments made by Chat...

For The Family Pantry, The Surge Is Here

By: Alan Pollock

NORTH HARWICH — Thankfully, Cape Cod has yet to experience a surge of COVID-19 patients in area hospitals. But from the perspective of the Family Pantry of Cape Cod, the surge in clients is already here. The nonprofit recently reported a 97 percent increase in new client visits this April compared to the previous April. The numbers show what’s already clear from the line of vehicles outside the Pantry: more pe...

Town Chef Creates Nourishing Meals For Seniors

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The days of seniors coming into the community center for a hearty lunch were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but there remain elderly residents in need of a good daily meal. Town Chef Linda St. Pierre has been busy preparing these nutritious lunches-to-go for seniors. “I miss my seniors terribly, a lot of them are wonderfully entertaining,” St. Pierre said of the folks who came to the center for ...

Selectmen Seek State Approval To Deficit Spend

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Selectmen Tuesday afternoon voted to send a formal request to the division of local services in the state department of revenue to allow the town to deficit spend up to $250,000 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in FY2020. Because of the state of emergency declared by Gov. Charlie Baker on March 10, the town anticipates extraordinary expenses, according to the letter, which will be sent to Mary Jane Handy...

Some people are showing up in local emergency rooms after experiencing chest pains for many hours, or abdominal pains that have lasted for days. Over concerns about COVID-19, they’re ignoring symptoms that demand immediate attention, putting themselves at greater risk, experts say. “Waiting isn’t smart,” Cape Cod Healthcare CEO Michael Lauf said in a recent news conference. “We don’t want to see people adverse...

ORLEANS — The global pandemic wants a reservation for every other parking space at Nauset and Skaket beaches. Town officials have recommended to the park commissioners that, effective immediately, the beach lots “will be closed once at 50 percent capacity or less based on beachfront availability and discretion of the Natural Resources Manager,” according to an April 30 memo from Town Administrator John Kelly, ...

COVID-19 Prompts Deep Spending Cuts CHATHAM — Thanks to the pandemic, voters at the annual town meeting scheduled for June 22 will likely see some extreme social distancing, along with a warrant stripped down of big-ticket spending articles and a sobering town budget. Selectmen chose the new date for town meeting on Monday, but a provision is in place that allows the town moderator to postpone the session f...

Hopeful Signs In COVID Fight, But Danger Remains

By: Alan Pollock

Stay-at-home Advisory, Business Closure Extended To May 18 The human toll of COVID-19 continues to grow, but key public health indicators hint that the virus emergency could be starting to level off on Cape Cod. “We’re starting to see that plateau start to happen,” Barnstable County Health and Environment Director Sean O’Brien said Tuesday. But at the town, county, state and federal level, public health off...

Harwich Health Board Decides Not To Mandate Masks

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Health Director Meggan Eldredge has received many calls from people urging the health board to put in place a regulation requiring the wearing of masks in public places. But while the board of made it clear last week that people should be wearing masks in public, it stopped short of issuing a mandate. Enforcement would be just too difficult, board members said. Board of Health Chair Pamela Howell ...

HARWICH — Critical budget items will be the focus of the June 22 annual town meeting. Other articles, especially those likely to generate prolonged discussion, will be postponed. That is, if the town can hold the session on June 22. “I’m still skeptical we’ll have a June annual town meeting,” Selectman Michael MacAskill said last Friday. If the meeting is held, Board of Selectmen Chairman Larry Ballantin...

Doing Good

By: Staff Reports and Contributors

Do you know someone who is going above and beyond in this extraordinary time? Let us know! For the next few weeks we'll be highlighting those who do good deeds in our local communities by selflessly helping their neighbors. Drop us an email at editor@capecodchronicle.com if you know of any good deeds you'd like to see exposed. Snowy Owl Offers Coffee Care Packages Customers of Snowy Own Coffee Roasters c...