Orleans Provides Update on COVID-19 Measures Within Town

Courtesy of Orleans Channel 18

ORLEANS – The Orleans Health Department hosted an informational forum Monday to update residents on their efforts during the coronavirus response.

The town is asking residents to assume that COVID-19 is present and to act accordingly. Town offices that do not provide essential services have already been shut down until April 7.

As the pandemic continues, the town is urging citizens to call their primary care physicians, if they have one, to be screened if they are experiencing symptoms such as coughing, fever, and shortness of breath.

Orleans Fire Chief Geof Deering thanked the town and its residents for their continued support throughout the outbreak, and said that the fire department is utilizing guidelines set forth by the state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect citizens and staff members.

The fire department has implemented symptom and temperature screenings for staff members during their shifts, and have advised their staff to stay at home if they feel sick. They are also looking to begin decontaminating vehicles.

Deering said that they recently received a needed shipment of protective equipment, such as masks and eye wear.

“We’re in a better spot now,” Deering explained.

“I wouldn’t say we’re out of the woods, but we’re in a better spot.”

The department’s supply chain is being analyzed, Deering said, and they are also looking to build up a backup inventory of supplies.

Deering said that a “fair amount” of calls have been received by the department regarding testing. Residents should call 9-1-1 if there’s a medical emergency, but Deering explained that they should also utilize healthcare resources.

Dr. Anne Sigsbee also said that the CDC and state are good sources of information in order to prevent panic. Trustworthy information, she explained, is vital to “flattening the curve” and maintaining social distancing.

These measures are in place in order to ensure that healthcare centers have enough resources and are not overwhelmed, and that the virus’ spread is limited.

“What we’re doing in our own homes and our own communities actually makes a difference. We have the ability to change the future,” Sigsbee said.

Donations for blood and protective equipment continue to be vital during the pandemic, Sigsbee said.

Things such as grocery shopping and going to transfer stations, Sigsbee suggests, should be done once a week or once every other week, as employees there are putting themselves at risk.

She also said that those returning to Cape Cod for the season from out of state should “hunker down” for the suggested quarantine time of two weeks, as the virus could travel back with them.

Sigsbee said the Orleans Council on Aging is providing rides for essential travel such as trips to the grocery store, bank, or necessary medical appointments. They are taking one passenger at a time, in order to limit exposure.

For more information, visit the town’s website by clicking here.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

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

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