Falmouth Officials Clarify Lifeguard COVID-19 Notifications

FALMOUTH – Falmouth town officials are clarifying how they were notified about the town’s lifeguards testing positive for COVID-19.

Earlier this month there was a non-working-hours social gathering involving several town lifeguards.

Days after the gathering, one lifeguard self-reported a COVID-19 positive rapid test result to the town’s Beach Department supervisors.

The lifeguard was removed from working status and recommended to quarantine.

Acting Beach Superintendent Maggie Clayton sent a notification to all beach department staff through the beach supervisors, advising them that a lifeguard had tested positive and that a few others were self-quarantining after possible exposure.

Several additional lifeguards as well as a number of parking attendants visited a “rapid-testing” center in Dennis and secured a coronavirus test at the facility.

Beach management then received verbal self-reports from three additional lifeguards that had tested positive.

Over the following two days, four additional lifeguards confirmed a positive test.

A total of eight lifeguards self-reported a positive coronavirus test.

All the lifeguards who reported a positive test were removed from working status immediately.

In addition, any municipal employee siblings of those who reported a positive test were also removed from working status.

During this same time, 33 beach staff members self-reported a negative test result.

Working with Cape Cod Healthcare and the Falmouth Health Department, the town has arranged for all Falmouth Beach staff members to receive a free PCR coronavirus test.

Results will be forthcoming from the testing that occurred.

All Falmouth beach staff members are encouraged to test or re-test as part of this process.

After self-reporting, no beach department staff members that tested positive for COVID-19 have been or are working.

The town continues to follow all isolation, quarantine, social distancing, and sanitizing protocols at beach department worksites throughout the working day.

Given the loss of working lifeguards to the mandatory quarantine process, the town is operating at a reduced staff capacity at some of the town beaches for the foreseeable future.

Monitoring and oversight of beach parking areas continues with a full staff of parking attendants.

Parking sticker sales are operating routinely with a full staff of clerks at the Ellen T. Mitchell Bathhouse.

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 CapeCod.com News Center since the spring of 2019. He studied business communications at Western New England University.

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