Topics: COVID-19

Health officials are sharing encouraging news about COVID-19 case counts, but say it’s too early to loosen requirements for mask-wearing. “The numbers have been going down,” Chatham Health and Natural Resources Director Robert Duncanson told the health board Monday. Twelve cases were reported in the first week of September, then seven and nine cases, and just five cases in the final week of the month. “And tha...

The good news is that Lower Cape schools generally scored above the state average in the spring round of MCAS tests. The bad news is that, in several key subject areas and grades, the state average is markedly down since pre-pandemic times. Statewide results show that many more students had gaps in their knowledge of math and English compared to students in the same grades before the COVID-19 pandemic, and few...

Masks Required For Meetings In Town Buildings

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — If you’re headed to an indoor town meeting, or maybe for a workout at the community center, be prepared to mask up. The board of health Monday unanimously issued an emergency order requiring even vaccinated people to wear face coverings while attending any indoor town meeting or any gathering of two or more people in a town meeting room, including the community center gymnasium and fitness room. T...

Secretary Kennealy Hears Pitch For Workforce And Housing

By: William F. Galvin

EAST HARWICH – Less than 100 feet from where state Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy greeted Paul Fox, owner of Harwich Paint and Decoration, Dunkin’ Donuts sat dark and shuttered, the business closed because of a lack of staff. Kennealy has been taking tours across the state, visiting downtowns and villages, communicating with small business owners to better understa...

COVID Numbers On The Rise

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — While COVID-19 case numbers in the Northeast are very low compared to other parts of the country, they are unmistakably climbing. The two-week case average on Cape Cod has climbed 138 percent compared to 27 percent statewide. Orleans has a 14-day average daily incidence rate of 6.4 per 100,000 residents, lower than it has been in a month, and the lowest rate in Barnstable County. In the same time per...

School Officials: Masks An Incentive To Get Vaccinated

By: Alan Pollock

A mask requirement for students returning to the Monomoy schools isn’t just a means of controlling the person-to-person spread of COVID-19. School officials say it’s an incentive for students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated as soon as they’re eligible. The Monomoy school committee approved the mask mandate last week as part of its school reopening plan. While the requirement for face coverings drew vocal ...

With kids returning to school, cooler weather around the corner, and the Delta variant spreading rapidly, public health officials have a clear message: the best hope for the putting the pandemic behind us is for more people to get vaccinated. Last Monday, the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which had been authorized only for emergency use, like the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vacc...

ORLEANS - The town’s board of health stopped short of issuing a masking order last week, opting instead to get behind an advisory modeled after guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The board voted 5-0 in favor of the advisory, which urges people to wear masks "whenever indoors on the premises of a business, club, or place of assembly, including but not limited to retail establishments...

CHATHAM — On its surface, the surge in COVID-19 cases that gained national headlines for Provincetown might just as easily have happened in Chatham. Both places saw huge crowds around the Fourth of July, with influxes of people from around the country. What was different? It might be the fact that Chatham has a much more subdued nightlife. Providing a pandemic update to the health board Monday night, Health...

Mobile Unit Offers Cape Residents COVID-19 Treatment

By: Debra Lawless

It seems that most of the news we hear about the coronavirus pandemic lately is bad news. But while there is no outright cure for COVID-19, a helpful treatment has come to Cape Cod Hospital in the form of a mobile unit offering monoclonal antibody therapy (mAb). The mobile unit is a first of its kind on Cape Cod and only one of two such units in Massachusetts. Patients receiving the outpatient treatment are th...

Driven in part by a growing cluster of cases in Provincetown, the Cape’s COVID-19 case count has jumped exponentially, prompting more people to resume wearing masks and socially distancing. Since July 1, 765 cumulative cases were linked to the Provincetown outbreak, believed connected to July 4 gatherings. Most of those cases were Massachusetts residents, most had caused mild symptoms that did not require hosp...

‘Breakthrough’ COVID Cases Raise Alarm

By: Alan Pollock

With concerns growing about the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19, and with Provincetown fighting a localized surge of cases among mostly vaccinated people, you might see more people voluntarily wearing masks in the weeks ahead. “We are seeing a slight uptick,” Chatham Health and Natural Resources Director Robert Duncanson told the health board this week. The town saw two new cases of COVID-19 in ...

Chatham Reinstates Independence Day Parade

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Though it might not be as grand as usual, the town will have a real, in-person parade to mark Independence Day this summer. On a 4-1 vote Tuesday, the select board followed the advice of the parade committee and gave the event its go-ahead. The board also voted to allow a fireworks display on Veterans Field on Thursday, July 1. The parade will happen on July 3, since July 4 falls on ...

The usual scramble ahead of the summer season will be a bit more frantic this year. On Monday, Gov. Charlie Baker announced that, as of May 29 – the Saturday of the Memorial Day weekend – all pandemic-related restrictions on businesses and public gatherings will be lifted. The news, while joyful, provides less than two weeks for restaurant owners, retailers, town officials and civic groups to adjust their plan...

The Port Restaurant Denied Outdoor Dining

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Of the 10 restaurants that applied to the selectmen for outdoor dining under the state’s emergency provisions for restaurants, only one – The Port Restaurant and Bar – was denied. Selectmen made the decision based on general disturbances to the neighborhood. Last Tuesday the board OK'd outdoor table service licenses for nine restaurants that received approval as part of the commonwealth’s state of...

HARWICH — The past year has been an emotional one, with feelings of uncertainty and isolation tempered by opportunities for creativity, productivity and reflection. In a new public art project, the community center is encouraging people to get creative in expressing the town’s collective emotions from the past year. “We wanted to do something where we could still be interacting with the members of our commun...