Cape Cod Reopening Task Force Expects Safe and Successful Fourth of July

Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr.

HYANNIS – The Cape Cod Reopening Task Force is hopeful for a successful Fourth of July weekend and summer season as regional traffic shows a recent uptick amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Certainly July 4 will look different here on Cape Cod from how it’s looked before, but we do have and are expecting a number of folks to be here,” said State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro), a member of the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force.

Cyr said that the current number of new cases indicated a good sign for Massachusetts.

On June 30, the Department of Public Health did not report any deaths related to COVID-19, a huge milestone according to Cyr.

“This came as a result of the public following public health guidelines and adhering to the rules of the road. Washing hands and washing surfaces frequently, staying at home when folks have symptoms, maintaining distance from others, and wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth when you can’t stay apart from others,” said Cyr.

“If we do start to see a reversal of these numbers as we’ve seen across the country in states outside of the northeast it will be in large part because people are not following these rules or the public is growing complacent. Vigilance and personal responsibility were what got us here where we are today, and this is going to be key to our further progress and determine our process going forward.”

Wendy Northcross, Chief Executive Officer of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce said that she was looking forward to a successful weekend and summer.

“We’re very pleased to look at the advanced reservations for the Fourth of July time-frame. Of course the holiday falling on a Saturday presents a unique opportunity to spread the business from this week into next,” said Northcross.

Northcross said that the Cape could see an influx of travelers looking to go on a trip this summer.

“People have indicated to us and to other traveler sentiment surveys that they are ready to go for a getaway, and Massachusetts residents particularly are telling us that they are interested in a vacation on Cape Cod and that they prefer to stay in-state. We’re very encouraged by that and think that the Cape is extremely fortunate compared to other destinations across the nation,” said Northcross.

According to Northcross, businesses are looking forward to a safe and productive weekend and are excited to go back to work.

Tom Cahir, Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority Administrator, said that though traffic in the region has been down compared to last year’s numbers, the CCRTA and their partners have seen a recent uptick.

According to Cahir, in March bridge daily traffic was down 19.9 percent from last year and the average daily traffic was about 69,000 cars.

April was down 47 percent, with a daily total of about 53,000 cars, May was down 31 percent with 78,000 cars.

June was down 14.9 percent from last year, with 101,000 cars, but that is still a noticeable climb from previous months’ numbers, according to Cahir.

Sean O’Brien, Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment Director, said that the continued practice of safety guidelines by citizens is important to maintain public health as the summer season continues.

“I can’t echo enough what Senator Cyr has said, how important it is for people to take these personal precautions: the masking, the washing of the hands, the social distancing, and avoiding those large groups. It’s really important because we’ve gone through this entire COVID-19 with pretty good response from our citizens here in Barnstable County,” said O’Brien.

“Our citizens are the heroes here. They’re the ones who have helped us flatten the curve. We have some cases, we unfortunately have seen some fatalities. But because of all these precautions that were taken by the folks on Cape Cod, it really has kept our numbers down compared to what they could have been.”

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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