Barnstable County Commissioners Monitoring COVID Outbreaks

An illustration of COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

HYANNIS – The Barnstable County Commissioners recently met to discuss ongoing COVID-19 incidents and mitigation efforts across the Cape Cod and Islands region as case numbers increase in several communities. 

During their most recent meeting, the commissioners heard a presentation from Vaira Harik, Deputy Director for the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment.

She said that since July, 182 cases reported have been reported in the county in addition to 56 novel cases.

“We are seeing a substantial upturn,” said Harik.

Harik said that with the proliferation of the highly-contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 alongside the annual dramatic rise in people on Cape Cod during the summer season has led to a “perfect storm” for creating new cases—even in those who have already been vaccinated.

About 75 percent of the Cape’s population is vaccinated, said Harik, but breakthrough cases are still possible and have been reported in places like Provincetown and Yarmouth

Commissioners said that the incident on the Outer Cape has also renewed interest in vaccination, and that the state’s mobile testing clinic that recently arrived in town has been popular and appreciated by local officials.  

Commissioner Sheila Lyons said that amid the rise in cases, she was concerned for individuals who are unable to get vaccinated, including children under the age of 12. 

“They’re the innocents here. They are not able to get a vaccine. They have not made a decision themselves that they weren’t getting vaccinated. It just seems to me with this type of rate going around, children are at risk and that’s just another reason to get a vaccination; to protect the children, because they don’t have a choice,” said Lyons. 

The board said it will consider devoting more resources to reinvigorate the county’s COVID help line. 

Despite the new cases, commissioners said that they will not implement new or old restrictions as the Cape’s busy summer season continues. 

Federal, state and county health departments are monitoring the cluster of cases across the region, including Provincetown.

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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