Topics: COVID-19

CHATHAM — At Schoolhouse Pond bathing beach, crowded conditions are nothing new. The small stretch of sand, which gets smaller when the water table is high, is Chatham’s only residents-only beach. But during the pandemic, those close quarters are a public health concern. State regulations designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 require beachgoers to maintain six feet of social distance, and groupings of...

Pandemic Doesn’t Slow Busy Holiday Weekend

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Judging from the crowded parking lots, busy shops and restaurants, and the steady traffic on roadways and waterways, the Independence Day weekend was a busy one – despite COVID-19. As of early this week, there had been 150 deaths from the novel coronavirus in Barnstable County, with a case count of over 1,500 people since the start of the pandemic. “The public health data continues to show us po...

Harwich Town Offices Begin Opening Doors

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — With the third phase of Gov. Charlie Baker’s Reopening of Massachusetts, municipal government became more accessible on Monday. The doors to town hall and a number of other public buildings are open, but in many instances appointments are required ahead of time to meet with town staff. Town Administrator Joseph Powers said the town has been working on compliance with the mandatory safety standards...

CHATHAM — For many, the end of 2020 will be a milestone worth celebrating. But because of the pandemic, they won’t be marking New Year’s Eve the usual way at First Night Chatham. Late last week, event organizers announced that because of the pandemic, First Night Chatham will not be held as a live event. “It’s a tremendous disappointment,” First Night spokesman John Reed said. More than 300 volunteers loo...

Responding to the alarming resurgence of COVID-19 in other parts of the country, Gov. Charlie Baker Tuesday let stand a requirement that out-of-state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days. But he lifted that requirement for people visiting from elsewhere in New England, from New York or New Jersey. Local tourism officials say the change is not likely to have a great impact, since most of the visitors curre...

COA Making Adjustments To Address The Needs Of Seniors

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The council on aging, working with the Academic Public Health Volunteer Corps, will be reaching out to senior citizens to better understand their unmet needs. The COA has been functioning without a social services coordinator since April 24 when Susanna Keith resigned to take a new job closer to family in Maine. Because the town has a hiring freeze in place due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic...

With COVID-19 case numbers still well under control on Cape Cod, people are once again venturing out to visit restaurants, stores and their favorite haunts, albeit while socially distancing and wearing masks. Doctors say it’s time to return for your regimen of routine medical care as well. That may not be possible everywhere yet, but under Phase 2 of Gov. Charlie Baker’s economic reopening plan, health care pr...

HARWICH PORT — When large crowds of people came together on the Lower Cape recently to protest the murder of George Floyd, they did more than voice their outrage and solidarity; they heightened the risk of spreading COVID-19. To help control that risk, more than 1,200 people attended a pop-up testing clinic in Harwich Port last week. “We were a bit overwhelmed with the incredible response for testing in our th...

Impact Fund To Contribute As Demand Grows Threefold CHATHAM – In the past three months, the number of people served by the small food pantry at Chatham Elementary School has tripled. Given the demand, the pantry, which usually closes when school ends, will continue providing groceries to local residents through the summer. “We obviously have a desperate need that is not going away,” said Principal Robin Mil...

Harwich Recreation Department Summer Programs On Hold

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH —The town's summer recreation programs are being put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recreation Department Director Eric Beebe said the summer playground program and the swimming and tennis programs were being canceled, at least for the beginning of the season. He'll be keeping a close eye on what will be allowed in the third phases of Gov. Charlie Baker’s reopening of Massachusetts. “There ar...

Business: For New Eateries, Pandemic Debut Is No Picnic

By: Jennifer Sexton-Riley

Opening a restaurant is no easy feat. Even for new local business owners who are taking over the reins of a successful location with a hearty customer base and making it uniquely their own, nothing about the process is simple or effortless.  Now try it in the middle of a global pandemic.  Lynne Hammatt bought the former Sandi’s Diner in March, as the seriousness of COVID-19 was becoming evident. After paint...

Day by day, more retailers are opening their doors to customers as they adjust their operations to meet new COVID-19 safety requirements. As of Monday, retailers who comply with those rules were allowed to welcome customers indoors as part of the second phase of the state’s economic reopening plan. And they’re banking on pent-up demand from customers who’ve missed the experience of in-person shopping. “People ...

Outside Dining Approved For Harwich Restaurants

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Interim Town Administrator Joseph Powers has been directed to lead the town’s efforts to approve individual restaurant requests to expand outdoor dining and liquor service under phase two of the state's re-opening plan. Early actions by town staff, selectmen and Powers led to quick results on Monday with selectmen reaffirming approvals for nine restaurants that the interim town administrator determin...

Harwich Cranberry Festival Events Canceled For The Year

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Given the persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Harwich Cranberry Festival Committee announced the cancellation of this year's crafts fairs, music and beach day events. “Over the past months the Harwich Cranberry Festival Committee has been simultaneously planning and putting into motion all the things necessary to hold our season’s events while watching the progress and impact of the COVID-19 pa...

The constant flow of information about COVID-19 over the past three months has led local councils on aging to daily changes requiring new ways of living, limiting activities and programs, closing buildings and dispersing staff and volunteers, and leading to readjustments in services and a rethinking of how to get things done. That is now being followed by a slow process of reopening that may continue for months. ...

ORLEANS — Rain is predicted for the morning of Saturday, June 20. So is an outdoor town meeting. That long-range forecast is just one view; another prediction shows a string of rainy days leading up to a cloudy but dry June 20. “If possible, we’ll just postpone it to the next day,” Moderator David Lyttle told selectmen at their pre-town meeting session June 3. “These are remarkable times that call for remarkab...