Cape Cod Task Force Discusses Reopening Plans

HYANNIS – Members of the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force on Tuesday discussed how Cape Cod will be begin restarting the economy after Governor Charlie Baker released the first phase of reopening guidelines in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

State Senator Julian Cyr was joined by Wendy Northcross of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and Barnstable County Director of Health and Environment Sean O’Brien.

Cyr said that as Memorial Day and the unofficial start to the summer season approaches, the Cape has made a “strong case” for reopening. However, he emphasized the importance of doing so safety and with compliance of established guidelines.

“Our best shot of keeping our communities safe and allowing our economy down here to reopen is going to be broad adherence to the public health guidelines and personal responsibility,” Cyr said on a conference call.

Cyr expects the upcoming weekend to be “muted,” but Northcross expressed optimism that the summer season as a whole can still be strong for the local business sector.

As Memorial Day is happening as early as possible and Labor Day is happening as late as possible, Northcross said that Cape businesses essentially receive two extra weeks of summer opportunities.

Still, as beaches statewide are allowed to open on Monday and residents may be inclined to visit loved ones, O’Brien said it is important to be responsible to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“The bottom line is: we still are in a situation with a public health emergency,” O’Brien said.

“So, it’s really important to maintain that social distancing.”

Cyr said lawmakers are continuing to push for the Cape and Islands communities to receive additional federal aid during the pandemic.

Northcross said the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce is also looking for federal help in order to create a “revolving loan fund” for seasonal businesses.

A similar method to aid businesses impacted by a lack of tourism was utilized after the September 11 attacks, Northcross said.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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