Stop the Spread COVID Testing Coming to Sandwich

Fire Chief John Burke

SANDWICH – Sandwich health and safety officials said that the surge of coronavirus cases is beginning to slow in the town as school vacation week begins.

“Hopefully, with the warm weather, people heading outside, and the vaccines getting distributed we’ll be heading in the write direction,” said Sandwich Fire Chief John Burke during the town’s most recent COVID public service announcement. 

Director of Public Health for the town David Mason said that the decline was a surprise, but a welcome one. 

“I think we expected to have the elevated rate going into the April school vacation and then dealing with that, but we’ll see what the fallout of that is after the April vacation,” said Mason.

Testing efforts continue within the community, including a Stop the Spread state-run COVID testing event to be hosted at the town’s Human Services Department. 

The event utilizes nasal PSR tests with a 28 to 48 hour turn-around time on test results.

The free testing program will be hosted at the Human Services Department building from 2pm to 6pm on April 28. 

Testing also continues for school staff on a weekly basis, which Burke said will be continued by the Stop the Spread program through the vacation week and then picked up again by usual town-run testing through at least May.

To date, an average of 200 tests are performed for school employees every week.

Burke also said that testing will be provided for town election and meeting staff both before and after the event.

Amid the continued pause on the use of Johnson & Johnson brand vaccines due to ongoing federal investigation into potentially dangerous blood clots reported in six women nationwide, Mason urged residents to not dismiss the brand in favor of another if it is being utilized for an vaccination appointment or clinic. 

“Everything we utilize in some drug format has some side effect, it has a risk associated with it at some time. [Federal health officials] have decided to put it on hold. It doesn’t mean the vaccine is bad. They want to have a better understanding of what’s occurring and what’s operating,” said Mason. 

Burke said that the J&J one-shot vaccine was a valuable tool for vaccinating homebound residents, and that every additional vaccine brand helps fight the pandemic. 

“Once it’s put out there again, as far as being safe, don’t dismiss it,” said Mason.

“We’re talking six cases out of millions of doses administered thus far.” 

 

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 CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.



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