Topics: Health

CHATHAM — Plans are now in place for the long-awaited renovation of the town's trash transfer station and recycling center. But given the financial uncertainties caused by COVID-19, selectmen last week said they'd like to see a scaled-down project rather than the $4.3 million renovation that they pursued earlier. Selectmen heard a brief presentation from DPW Director Tom Temple, who argued that the disposal ar...

COVID-19: Towns Bracing For The Worst

By: Alan Pollock

With public health experts saying that the peak number of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts is still about two weeks away, local officials say social distancing is more important than ever. The number of confirmed cases in the state and county climbed steadily this week, but Chatham Natural Resources Director Robert Duncanson said it’s not wise to focus on those numbers. “Everybody should probably assume that th...

HARWICH — A freeze on non-essential spending has been put in place by selectmen in an effort to keep town costs down given the unknown financial impact the COVID-19 pandemic may have on the community. Selectmen last week expressed concern that revenues could be lost if the pandemic keeps people away from the Cape this summer. Various taxes and fees, such as the meals and hotel taxes, would likely be lower than...

Outer Cape Health Services Struggles To Keep Clinics Open

By: William F. Galvin

Staff Reduced, Emergency Equipment In Short Supply HARWICH — Outer Cape Health Services is hoping to keep its three health clinics in operation, but this week it took the drastic step of reducing its staff by 50 percent. The COVID-19 outbreak has reduced patient visits and driven additional expenses to the point that projected revenue losses are as much as $1 million a month, according to the agency. “Betwe...

Health: Stay Informed About COVID-19

By: Cape Cod Chronicle Staff

Prevention The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the coronavirus. Wash your hands frequently, practice cough etiquette, stay home when possible and maintain social distancing. Learn more at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick and www.mass.gov/covid19 . If You Think You’re Sick The key symptoms of COVID-19 are a fever, a cough and shortness of breath. Find an ...

Travelers From NY, NJ, CT Urged To Self-isolate

By: Staff Reports and Contributors

On Wednesday, the Chatham Board of Health issued a notice urging people from New Jersey, New York or Connecticut who've come to their seasonal homes in Chatham voluntarily self-isolate in their homes for 14 days. The move was recommended by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, the notice reads . "This voluntary self-isolation, out of an abundance of caution, recognizes that New York City is the current ...

Virus Apparently Claims Retired Episcopal Priest

By: Alan Pollock

Though it could not be confirmed through public health channels, the COVID-19 virus has apparently claimed the life of a retired priest who was affiliated with Christ Church, Harwich Port. According to the Rev. Brian McGurk, rector at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church of Chatham, the Rev. Dr. Richard Ottaway, an Episcopal priest and college professor, died Sunday night at Cape Cod Hospital as as result of COV...

Recognizing that many local residents are hurting because of the closures and other restrictions imposed by the coronavirus emergency, businesses, individuals and nonprofit organizations are stepping up to the plate to provide much-needed support and services, ranging from financial donations to supplying families with diapers and other necessities to sewing protective masks for healthcare workers. “This commu...

Test Kits And Supplies Thin At Outer Cape Health Services

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Outer Cape Health Services will be conducting all its COVID-19 testing from its Wellfleet health clinic, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Andrew Jorgenson said in a teleconference on Monday afternoon. But he expressed frustration with the lack of test kits and protective supplies available to the clinic. He explained the reason for using only one of OCHS’s three clinics is to prevent the other clinics from ...

Food Demand On The Rise At Pantries

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — With more businesses either closing their doors or reducing staff, more people are reaching out to The Family Pantry of Cape Cod and the Lower Cape Outreach Council to feed their families. Family Pantry Director Christine Menard said Monday the pantry is seeing an increase in the number of people in need of food for their families, many of whom were just laid off. There are others who have utilized t...

If Cape Cod followed Vermont’s example, all our worries about postponing town meeting would be unnecessary. Up in the Green Mountain State, almost all communities hold their annual budget-setting sessions on Town Meeting Day, the first Tuesday of March. It’s a state holiday. Vermont’s work is done for this year, but Massachusetts towns have been tripped up in the middle of the process by a pandemic disease tha...

Virus Apparently Claims Retired Episcopal Priest

By: Alan Pollock

Though the news could not be confirmed through public health channels, the COVID-19 virus has apparently claimed the life of an 88-year-old Brewster man who was formerly a parishioner at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church of Chatham. According to the Rev. Brian McGurk, rector at St. Christopher’s, the Rev. Dr. Richard Ottaway, an Episcopal priest and college professor, died Sunday night at Cape Cod Hospital as...

Harwich Announces Presumptive Case of Coronavirus

By: Staff Reports

HARWICH — Town officials announced this afternoon that a presumptive positive case of COVID-19 has been identified in Harwich. Because of privacy laws, the demographics of the case will remain anonymous, the town announcement reads. “The close contacts of the positive case have been notified by the Visiting Nurse Association and are following CDC guidelines for self-quarantine,” the notice reads. With ...

In a response that flexes both their emergency response skills and their ability to improvise, Lower Cape officials are doing what they can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while keeping essential government services going. As of Friday morning, there were five confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Barnstable County, but with the increased availability of test kits, public health officials expect that n...

With a global pandemic threat, the struggling stock market and divisive politics in Washington, you might be forgiven for feeling a bit anxious lately. Add to those worries the problems of ordinary life, and those feelings might be overwhelming. According to information posted by the National Institute of Mental Health, it’s important to remember that stress is a natural reaction. “Occasional anxiety is an ...

Health: Fighting Coronavirus Fear With Facts

By: Alan Pollock

News headlines about the novel Wuhan coronavirus seem to get a bit more frightening each day, and the number of infected people is increasing, as is the geographic spread of the illness. But a review of the facts can help put the risk in perspective. Coronaviruses, so named because of their crown-like shape when viewed under a microscope, are nothing new. They often cause respiratory illnesses or the cold, and...