Topics: Health

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...

CHATHAM – Year-end statistics gathered from town departments bear out some of the anecdotes about the way the pandemic impacted the community during 2020. More people stayed in town longer in the fall, water department usage figures indicate. There's also been an uptick in the number of residents and registered voters. However, other figures showed slowdowns that may be indicative of less activity due to th...

Selectmen To Conduct Hearings On Port And Ember Liquor Licenses

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Town Administrator Joseph Powers, serving as hearing officer for the board of selectmen, has found the Port Restaurant and Bar and Ember Pizza, Inc. violated state laws during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. Powers in his findings concluded the Port Restaurant and Bar committed three violations and Ember Pizza, Inc. committed one violation. Powers stated in his findings he would hold his disciplinar...

It’s simple math: the county is typically receiving just under 1,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine each week. There are an estimated 10,000 Cape residents aged 75 and older, and each will need two doses of the vaccine. Unless the supply of vaccine increases markedly, it won’t be until June that all 20,000 doses are administered and the vaccine can begin going to seniors 65 and older. “It’s a system that pits e...

HARWICH — If the smiles behind the COVID-19 masks of the employees at Star Market and Shaw’s on Cape Cod are even more difficult to discern these days, it may be because they have just taken a hit in their weekly pay check. Comments about the pay reductions could be overheard in the aisles and at the cash registers of the Star Market in Harwich Port over the past couple of weeks. The move struck some patrons a...

The faltering roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents 75 and older this week has left many senior citizens aching from a dose of frustration, but state officials hope a new telephone hotline will help. As of early this week, state officials were urging people to visit www.mass.gov/CovidVaccine to check their eligibility to receive the vaccine, to choose a convenient clinic, and to sign up for an ap...

COVID-19 Numbers Paint Mixed Picture

By: Alan Pollock

While COVID-19 case numbers, hospitalizations and other metrics offer hope that the pandemic is finally starting to ebb, other figures show the virus continues to spread easily in areas where people congregate. Speaking at last week’s meeting of the Cape Cod COVID Response Task Force, Barnstable County Human Services Deputy Director Vaira Harik observed that numbers of new cases had dropped somewhat, wit...

Vaccine Demand May Initially Outstrip Supply

By: Alan Pollock

Appointments May Not Be Available At First In news that is likely to be welcome in Chatham and Orleans – demographically two of the oldest towns in New England – Gov. Charlie Baker announced this week that 75-and-older residents have been moved to the front of the line in Phase 2 of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, with people 65 and older next in line. But local public health officials warn that, as of ...

COVID-19 Toll Climbs; County Boosts Pandemic Resources

By: Alan Pollock

  While the upward climb of COVID-19 cases continues unabated, Barnstable County officials are bringing more resources to bear on the pandemic, thanks to a boost from lawmakers. Your Questions About the COVID-19 Vaccine, Answered Under legislation filed by State Rep. Sarah Peake, D–Provincetown, and State Senator Julian Cyr, D–Truro, the state has absorbed the annual pension liability for retired...