Topics: COVID-19

COVID-19 Cases Surge, Child Care Program Shuttered

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — After a community center staff member tested positive for COVID-19, town officials announced that the PARK after school childcare program will be shut down until Nov. 30. As of early this week, there was no indication that any of the children in the program had contracted the illness, but parents had been warned to watch their youngsters for symptoms. Last Friday, town officials learned that the comm...

Restaurants: New COVID Rules Help, A Little

By: Alan Pollock

For restaurants operating under strict public health protocols during the pandemic, any small bit of good news is worth celebrating. While certainly not game-changing, the relaxation of certain rules that took effect Monday represented progress, said Peter Barnard, owner of the Impudent Oyster in Chatham. “It’s been helpful,” he said. “Everything helps.” Announced last week, the changes allow restaurants...

Officials: Summer Of 2020 Could’ve Been Worse

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — It’s not exactly high praise, but given the pandemic and the economic disaster it spawned, the summer of 2020 could’ve been worse. The visitor economy was buoyed by day-trippers and longer-term visitors who came from places within driving range to the Lower Cape. One metric of activity in downtown Chatham is the use of the paid parking lot at the former Eldredge Garage property. Chatham Valet ran ...

Nearly two dozen students who are living in summer homes or staying with grandparents are attending classes in the Monomoy Regional School District this fall. But that increase in new students is more than offset by declines in enrollment, including the loss of 55 students whose families opted for home schooling rather than attending classes in-person or remotely. The district's total enrollment this fall drop...

ORLEANS — Townspeople got a report last week from the front lines in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Assistant Health Agent Alexandra Fitch, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Noelle Pina, Nauset School Superintendent Tom Conrad, and Council on Aging Executive Director Judi Wilson shared their stories with a virtual Orleans Citizens Forum audience Sept. 24. “It became clear we had to decide what ...

Monomoy High Student Tests Positive For COVID-19

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — A student at Monomoy Regional High School tested positive for COVID-19 last week, forcing an unknown number of students and staff to be placed in quarantine for two weeks and prompting a new round of coronavirus testing. Superintendent of Schools Scott Carpenter said school officials were notified of the positive test Friday night. The student does not appear to have contracted the virus at school, h...

A new wave of COVID-19 cases coinciding with the flu season is a nightmare scenario that officials are hoping to avoid by encouraging all residents to get flu vaccinations as soon as possible. “A dual outbreak of flu and COVID-19 will put a serious strain on our healthcare capacity,” State Senator Julian Cyr said. Gov. Charlie Baker called the need for people to get flu vaccinations “more important than eve...

Brooks Library 'Grab and Go' Will Provide A Sense Of Normalcy

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The public will have greater access to Brooks Free Library beginning next week. Changes underway include the ability for patrons to browse inside the historic library as well as several physical changes. Alcoves have been turned into more secure offices for staff and Plexiglas shields installed to separate workers from the public in compliance with COVID-19 protective measures. The COVID-19 pandem...

Weekend At The Beach Reserved For Special Town Meeting

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — The Saturday, Oct. 31, special town meeting will be no day at the beach — well, actually, that’s exactly what it will be. Starting at 11 a.m., the Nauset Beach gathering will cover the waterfront of town needs with articles addressing the deteriorating fire station, dredging of Nauset Estuary and Pleasant Bay, retail marijuana sales, and even a resident parking sticker for the beach itself and othe...

Chatham Town Offices Now Open By Appointment

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – For the past several months, anyone who wanted a marriage license had to pass papers to the town clerk through an open window. New committee members have been sworn in on the steps of the town offices. Dropping off or picking up of plans, permits, tax payments and other documents at the annex has been done via a drop box, like spies passing clandestine documents in the night. That ends this week, whe...

New COVID Numbers Move Chatham Out Of The Red Zone

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — A week after state officials designated Chatham a “higher risk community” and marked it red on its pandemic map, a decline in the daily case rate has put the town back into the lowest-risk category.  Now marked gray on the map, Chatham's case rate is now listed at 4.9 cases per 100,000 residents, down from 8.5.  The new designation was released Wednesday as part of the state's weekly public health repor...

Demand Remains High For Chatham COVID Fund

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – “Sadly, we're cranking away.” Stephen Daniel, co-founder of the Chatham Coronavirus Impact Fund, was speaking about the continuation of the fund begun in April to help local residents under financial stress due to the pandemic. While there was no big spike after enhanced unemployment benefits ran out, there also hasn't been a significant drop in the amount of assistance the fund has been providing. ...

PLEASANT LAKE — When students return to Cape Cod Tech this week, it’ll be anything but normal. They’re in a new building, but some of the classrooms aren’t completely finished. Parking is limited because the old school building has yet to be demolished. And, of course, there’s a pandemic that will limit the school to 50 percent capacity for the time being. This week will be an orientation period, with students...

HARWICH — Two years ago, Christine Menard was on top of the world, literally. Always fit and energetic, she defied the limitations of asthma and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. Two years later, having suffered the ravages of COVID-19, she’s celebrating another achievement. “I’m at Day 115, and it’s only now that I can get through a day without a nap,” she said. “That is a huge improvement, a monumental improvement...

A local restaurateur is looking to marshal forces to advocate for a bill that would help restaurants survive the pandemic. Massachusetts Senate Bill 2655, stalled since April, requires insurance companies to pay out business interruption insurance even during a pandemic. The issue goes back to the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak. A clause added at that time excludes insurance companies from paying out on interruptions...

ORLEANS — By this time next month, it’s expected that Nauset Regional High School can end fully remote classes and institute a hybrid model of remote and in-school education. “We’re thinking we can do this by Oct. 15 and get a lot of this work completed and approved, and get it approved by all the people who do inspections for us,” Superintendent Tom Conrad told a relieved regional school committee Sept. 10. “...