Topics: COVID-19

While all people over the age of 16 are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and while case numbers are trending down again, officials are warning that even fully vaccinated people are still able to contract the disease. On Monday afternoon, Broad Reach Healthcare President and CEO Bill Bogdanovich notified residents and family members that a staff member at the Victorian assisted living center had test...

Cape Battles Third Wave Of COVID-19

By: Alan Pollock

While more and more people are getting COVID-19 vaccinations each day, Barnstable County is still struggling with a surge of cases linked to the Mid Cape. The county’s 14-day incidence rate, expressed as cases per 100,000 people, stands at 40.2, pushed high by the town of Barnstable’s rate of 78.5 cases. On the Lower Cape, the rate stands at 27 cases per 100,000 in Chatham, 31.8 cases in Harwich and 22.9 cases...

HARWICH — The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone in different ways. For many people, the stay-at-home and reduced socialization directives have created a sheltered atmosphere. But not for Kate Seeley. Seeley is using her time to assist people struggling to obtain COVID-19 vaccine appointments. The West Harwich resident said she took a leave of absence from her job at the Outer Cape Health Service Women...

Despite the wider availability of vaccines, COVID-19 cases on Cape Cod are surging ahead of the state average. That has public health officials at all levels of government pleading with the public to continue wearing masks, avoiding crowds and taking other necessary precautions. Led by a “significant COVID-19 outbreak” in Barnstable and Yarmouth, the Cape registered a 5.59 percent two-week positivity rate as o...

Assessing COVID’s Toll On Mental Health

By: Alan Pollock

Over the past year, feeling anxious and depressed has almost become part of the daily routine. But for more and more people, those feelings are getting in the way of day-to-day living. State Senator Julian Cyr, D–Truro, has been fully immersed in the region’s response to the pandemic since the beginning, attending countless meetings and helping to organize the Cape Cod COVID Response Task Force. When the first...

Officials Wonder If Mid-Cape Surge Linked To P.1 Variant There was a time when “flattening the curve” was a good thing. But in a time when COVID-19 cases had been trending down, plateauing numbers have public health officials worried. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Barnstable County case count had increased by 94 cases over Monday’s figure, Chatham Health and Natural Resources Director Robert Duncanson told t...

Select Board: Time Is Now For New Senior Center

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Some have argued that a pandemic is the wrong time for the town to take on a big-ticket capital project like building a new senior center. On Tuesday, the town's project team and the select board argued that, in fact, the timing couldn’t be better. The board voted unanimously to bring a request for $8,395,555 to build a new council on aging on a parcel of donated land at 1610 Main St., West C...

This week’s troubling pandemic news is that the P.1 variant, which spreads more easily and quickly than other strains of COVID-19, has been detected on Cape Cod. The good news is that the same preventative measures in place since the start of the pandemic – the use of face masks, social distancing and other precautions – are the best defense against the new variant, public health officials say. Sometimes...

On Feb. 5, 2020, The Chronicle’s health page revealed that 362 people globally had died as the result of a new virus that had emerged in Wuhan, China. It quoted a local health official who said, “People living on the Cape do not need to be concerned about getting the coronavirus at this time.” More than a year later, the global death toll has topped 2.58 million, including more than 400 Cape Codders. The pan...

With COVID-19 case numbers continuing to decline, the new single-dose vaccine helping to improve availability, and new CDC guidelines allowing vaccinated people more freedom to meet with friends in person, one would think all the pandemic-related headlines were all positive this week. But the state’s beleaguered online registration system continues to frustrate those seeking to sign up for a vaccine appo...

NORTH CHATHAM – When the pandemic mandated that Liberty Commons Nursing Home lock all its doors in order to funnel all staff and visitors through the front entrance, where they were screened for symptoms, people began walking from the lower parking lot up a hill to the front door. In normal times, they'd use other, more conveniently located entrances. “It was fine all summer,” Broad Reach President and CEO Bil...

Officials Ready Regional Vaccine Site

By: Alan Pollock

While Carefully Watching For Possible COVID-19 Resurgence Punctuated by warnings that new virus variants may set back the fight against COVID-19, public health officials are pushing to accelerate the vaccination process. On Cape Cod, a large regional vaccine clinic is expected to open perhaps as early as this week. The vaccine site is being established at Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstabl...

The Monomoy Regional School District launched a pooled COVID-19 testing program this week, designed to identify spread of the disease among students and teachers who show no symptoms. But as of Tuesday, only about half of the school population had agreed to be tested. Superintendent of Schools Scott Carpenter said more permission slips are being received each day, and he hopes by the end of the four-week poole...

On March 14, it will be one year since the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed on Cape Cod. Three days later, Gov. Charlie Baker shut down schools and all but essential businesses statewide. How well are we coping? Do we need to find additional help? The Cape Cod COVID-19 Response Task Force and MassSupport Network sponsored a livestreamed forum, “Season of Change, Coping During COVID,” on Feb. 24. People may...

After the anthrax scares that followed 9/11, local towns developed plans to open emergency dispensing sites to quickly vaccinate their citizens; those plans have now been in place for years, and have been routinely reviewed and certified. Towns practice them by staging routine flu vaccine clinics.  But during the pandemic, those plans have been shelved by state officials who favor using large mass vaccination ...

Tempers Flare Over Cape’s Vaccine Scarcity

By: Alan Pollock

State Opens Registration To People 65+, But Supply Still Lags The state’s COVID-19 vaccination roll-out is now focused on senior citizens, but local and regional leaders are crying foul, saying the effort isn’t bringing needed doses quickly enough to serve the aging population of Barnstable County. “Cape Cod clearly is being left behind here in the Commonwealth’s vaccine roll-out,” said State Sen. Julian Cy...