Topics: Health

COVID Boosters: Who’s Eligible?

By: Alan Pollock

There seem to be new headlines every day describing which group of people are now eligible to receive which COVID-19 vaccine. Some people can now get booster shots, depending on their age, health and occupation. There is even talk now about a possible fourth shot for some people, even as public health officials work to get first doses into many arms. Let’s sort it out. Initial doses of the vaccine are currentl...

ORLEANS – Remote and hybrid meetings have moved to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they might stay there in the long term. Governor Charlie Baker in June extended Open Meeting Law provisions allowing hybrid and remote meetings through April 1. But Town Administrator John Kelly said the usefulness of Zoom and the internet in conducting government meetings could factor into the town’s future plan...

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...

Canning Retires As Orleans’ First Health Agent

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS — Wednesday, Sept. 29 was by any measure a typical day in the Orleans Health Department. Employees answered phones and helped customers, while Bob Canning, the town’s longtime health agent, sat at his desk in his office overlooking the parking lot outside of town hall. Of course, when Canning was hired in 1984, none of this existed. Looking back on his career in town, he can recall in vivid detail his ...

Heart Association Honors Chatham Fire For Cardiac Care

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — There’s no good place to suffer a sudden cardiac emergency. But if it happens in Chatham, take heart: you’re likely to get the best possible emergency cardiac care. The American Heart Association has awarded the Chatham Fire/Rescue Department its Life Line Silver Plus Achievement Award for taking certain specific steps to improve care for victims of severe heart attacks. The annual designation was...

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...

ORLEANS — What if Cape Cod as a whole was a mindful community? With that thought in mind, Fiona Jensen started Calmer Choice in 2010. Now, 11 years later, the nonprofit’s founder is ready to hand over the reins to a new CEO at the beginning of the year. Calmer Choice, based in South Yarmouth, has brought emotional and wellness support programming to more than 35 schools in the state over the past decade, in...

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 ...

Golf Community Comes Together To Help One Of Its Own

By: Elizabeth Van Wye

HARWICH – It started with a frozen shoulder last summer. When Bill Olivier started seeing doctors about the shoulder, in addition to some recurring back pain, there were MRIs and X-rays taken that stumped the orthopedic specialists.  When he started to develop a foot drop, which he described as feeling "like I was walking in clown shoes," more tests were done and a neurologist recommended he be seen at the Mass G...

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...