Topics: COVID-19

On Monday, one day after alerting parents to a positive COVID-19 case at Monomoy Middle School, Superintendent of Schools Scott Carpenter sent a second email announcing another case at Harwich Elementary. “Based on what has been shared with the school from both the family and public health officials, the student was not in the building while infectious, and we do not need to quarantine any classrooms,” Carpent...

CHATHAM — Each year, selectmen and the town manager begin the process of creating a budget by setting their goals and objectives, meeting in a special Saturday session. This year’s session yielded a list of priorities shaped in part by the pandemic. “Seeing that COVID-19 was impacting a lot of our ability to move forward with our work that we had been thinking about doing, we did review our established mission...

HARWICH — Thanks to a lot of patience, a dash of ingenuity and gallons of disinfectant, the community center remains open during the pandemic. And for the people who use it and the Harwich Cultural Center, it’s a badly needed connection to neighbors during the COVID-19 era. It’s far from business as usual, however. Community Center Director Carolyn Carey said she’s worked closely with Health Director Meggan El...

HARWICH — Along with the cold weather, the reality that it may be a tough winter for restaurants is settling in. Facilities for outdoor serving are being shuttered and limited indoor serving capacity could make the usual slow winter even slower. Town officials are weighing options available to restaurants. One is to allow longer closures. Selectmen last week approved owner Damien Wiseman's request to close the...

Orleans Terraces Residents Get A Royal Thrill

By: Debra Lawless

ORLEANS – This Thanksgiving, one of the most difficult aspects of the coronavirus pandemic is that many extended families cannot sit at the same table to eat, laugh and reminisce. The isolation can hit seniors particularly hard. In senior living centers, visits are prohibited or kept short to protect elder loved ones from the virus. Seniors can’t hug family members and can’t cradle newborns in their laps. B...

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...