A Coordinated Response to COVID-19 Continues in Barnstable County

Filed in Press Releases by on May 8, 2020

BARNSTABLE COUNTY

REGIONAL EMERGENCY PLANNING COMMITTEE

SUPERIOR COURT HOUSE

POST OFFICE BOX 427

BARNSTABLE, MA 02630

BCREPC Media Release  

Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee

Media Release 010 – COVID-19

May

 

For Immediate Release

A Coordinated Response to COVID-19 Continues in Barnstable County

BARNSTABLE (MA) May 8, 2020 – The Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee (BCREPC) held a conference call on Thursday, May 7, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. to review the current COVID-19 conditions and discussed updates to response efforts in the county. Individuals present on the call included over 100 representatives from agencies across Cape Cod’s 15 towns and Nantucket, including elected officials, representatives from Cape Cod Healthcare, Town Health Agents, and several nonprofits engaged in responding to COVID-19.

Updates and guidance

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported a total of 1,021 positive cases of COVID-19 and 57 fatalities in Barnstable County at the time of this call. Presently Barnstable County’s case numbers appear to be at a plateau, but emergency response efforts continue to be prepared for a surge.

BCREPC Multi-Agency Coordination Center (MACC) continues to operate as a limited activation in response to COVID-19 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily. The MACC remains focused on its efforts to assist with resource requests from various agencies across Cape Cod, especially for personal protective equipment (PPE). The MACC continues to arrange truck deliveries of supplies to Police and Fire Departments, group homes, long-term care facilities, public health departments, primary care physicians, dentists, and more. Deliveries of PPE are also now being made to Nantucket and Dukes County. The MACC also continues to support and handle resource requests at the COVID-19 test site at Cape Cod Community College.

The Cape Cod Community College’s hours of operation were reduced to Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. due to increased efficiency in processing patients, the volume of testing has not changed.    Since testing began on March 17, 2020, 2,620 vehicles have driven through with patients scheduled for testing.

Joint Base Cape Cod is being stood down due to the absence of admissions but will be ready to be reinstated if needed.  The Royal Falmouth Nursing and Rehabilitation Center currently has patients in the single digits, and the Wingate Nursing Home in Brewster has zero.

The Cape Cod and the Islands Regional Network on Homelessness reported that universal testing has begun at homeless shelters. At St. Joseph’s Homeless Shelter, 30 residents and 20 staff have been tested for COVID-19; there have been no positive cases. Plans are underway for universal testing to be available at other homeless shelters, as well. For those who test positive, they will be able to isolate at the hotel program. Testing is also in place for those currently in the hotel program; individuals who test negative are cleared to return to the homeless shelter.

Since April 30 when the Cape Cod Medical Reserve Corps introduced its Critical Services Delivery Program for seniors and those at high risk, volunteers have completed approximately 50 grocery delivery requests, and the volume of requests is steadily increasing.

Judy Walden Scarafile, Managing Director of the Major Crisis Relief Fund (MCRF), reported over 1,000 requests for financial assistance over the last five weeks and encourages residents who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and need help with lost income, food, rent, and more, to contact them at majorcrisisrelieffund.org. Cash donations also continue to be accepted.

Sen. Julian Cyr, D-Truro, provided updates on the recently organized Cape Cod Reopening Task Force. The Task Force is working on compiling and disseminating guidelines for businesses, workers, residents, and visitors.  Forthcoming guidance from the Task Force will align with recommendations from the Governor’s Reopening Advisory Board, advisories from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Executive Orders from Governor Baker.

The BCREPC wants to ensure that Barnstable County residents know that a coordinated response continues to take place in our region. They ask the public to help slow the spread by limiting movement outside of their homes beyond what is necessary to take care of essentials. The BCREPC encourages all citizens to wear a mask, maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet, and wash hands for at least 20 seconds. For more information, visit www.barnstablecountyhealth.org/

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