Barnstable County Health Officials Praise Actions by Cape Codders During Virus Outbreak

Patient being tested at the Cape Cod Healthcare drive-thru facility at Cape Cod Community College

HYANNIS – Barnstable County health officials are pleased with the actions taken by area businesses and residents due to the coronavirus as they anticipate more positive cases to come.

“I think everybody is doing as much as they can do and I think people are just doing the best they can,” said Director of the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment Sean O’Brien.   

“I think the businesses and the markets are doing a great job with this and they’re listening and hearing and listening to our local boards of health on what needs to be done.”

According to the state, 19,794  people have been tested in Massachusetts with 1,838 positive results. That represents just over 8 percent of those tested who have the virus.

One of the 15 fatalities recorded  by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health was identified Wednesday as a Barnstable County man in his 80’s with underlying health conditions.

Tuesday also marked the busiest day at the drive-thru testing facility at Cape Cod Community College as 121 vehicles went through the area.

The number of vehicles does not represent the exact numbers of patients that were tested.

Those numbers are expected to continue to increase moving forward.

O’Brien said that Barnstable County is only in the beginning stages of the pandemic and that there is still a hill to climb and that things are going to get busier.

O’Brien believes that panic is low among Cape Coders.

“There’s no panic I mean that’s the great thing and that’s the great thing about Cape Codders,”

“What I’m very happy about is living here because we all work so well together as a community here in Barnstable County.”    

Local boards of health are working with takeout restaurants and drive-thrus to make sure they are safe and able to function during the pandemic.    

Officials also spoke about the situation currently taking place in New York City.

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the White House coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Anthony Fauci, recommended that anybody who has been to New York City recently needs to do a 14 day self-quarantine.

Officials noted that people should continue to practice safe social distancing and to use hand sanitizer or wash hands once returning home.

O’Brien believes that people don’t need to wear masks out in public as it takes away from masks for first responders when there is a shortage.

He did note that people with COVID-19 should be wearing masks but that they should be staying home and not going out in public.

Officials are also reminding people that markets are providing wipes at grocery stores and to use them before using a cart.


About Luke Leitner

Luke Leitner grew up in Watertown Massachusetts and now lives in West Yarmouth on the Cape. He has been a part of the news team in the News Center since the spring of 2019. He studied business communications at Western New England University.
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