Please click here to access the latest Town of Brewster updates on the Coronavirus

Brewster Cumulative Cases: 540 (110 in long-term care facilities)
Please note - # of cases may differ from state or county totals based on data collection methods. Long term care facility data reported to the state database includes all residents and staff tested at the facility. Brewster totals only include residents and staff that reside in Brewster. Click here for a chart of cases by date.

The Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment offers a helpline for COVID related questions, Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm, at 1-774-330-3001. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

The coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) is a contagious disease that is infecting people across the United States. This webpage will provide Brewster residents with information about Town activities related to the coronavirus, as well as trustworthy sources of additional information.

What is Coronavirus and How Does It Spread?
Coronavirus is a respiratory infection that can be spread from one person to another. It appears to spread between people who are in close contact with each other (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Coronavirus Symptoms
This coronavirus (COVID-19) causes respiratory (lung) infection. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • In more serious case, pneumonia (a lung infection) may develop

Coronavirus Prevention
There are actions you and your family can take to protect yourselves from the coronavirus:

  • Wear a mask or face covering in any public setting (indoors or outdoors) and when in the presence of others other than your household family members.
  • Wash your hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. If soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer with an alcohol concentration of at least 60%
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Put distance between yourself and others if we experience coronavirus in our community – especially if you are at higher risk of getting sick. Older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions are at higher risk.
  • If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve.
  • Routinely clean hard surfaces and areas where germs may collect.

Coronavirus Treatment
There are no treatments or vaccine for COVID-19. Patients can receive treatment to relieve symptoms - for example, medications for cough and fever.

Coronavirus Checklist for Getting Your Home Ready
Review this CDC guidance so your home is prepared. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/checklist-household-ready.html

Travel from Out of State and High Risk Areas

  • If you recently returned from travel to out-of-state areas or overseas, the Center for Disease Control and MA Dept. of Public Health request that you self-quarantine for a period of fourteen (14) days from the date you entered back into Massachusetts.

Coronavirus Information Resources

A Caution About Untrustworthy Coronavirus Information
Make sure you get your information from trusted sources, and that you follow guidance from the CDC, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Brewster Health Department.

Self-Quarantine
In some cases, people may be directed to “self-quarantine” if they are suspected of having the coronavirus or recently traveled to a country with many cases.

  • Self-quarantine (or home isolation) means you:
    • Stay at home except for getting medical care.
    • Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, and taxis.
    • Stay away from other people and pets in your home and use a separate bathroom if possible.
    • No visitors should come to your home.
    • If you need medical care, call ahead for guidance unless it is an emergency.
    • Avoid sharing household items.
    • Wash your hands frequently.
    • Wear a facemask if around other people.
    • Cover your sneezes and coughs with a tissue.
    • Monitor for any symptoms, or worsening symptoms.
    • Discontinue self-quarantine only in consultation with a health care provided.

The Brewster Health Department

  • If you have questions about the coronavirus, contact the Brewster Health Department at (508) 896-3701 ext. 1120 or by email.

Amy von Hone, Health Director
avonhone@brewster-ma.gov

Sherrie McCullough, Assistant Health Director
smccullough@brewster-ma.gov

Tammi Mason, Senior Department Assistant
tmason@brewster-ma.gov
 

 

When Can I Get the COVID Vaccine?

State of Massachusetts

  • Has a vaccine distribution plan with 3 phases. See the State website for details:https://www.mass.gov/info-details/when-can-i-get-the-covid-19-vaccine
    • Phase One is underway now. It includes health care workers, long term care facilities, corrections, and first responders (police, fire, EMS) are now receiving their first of 2 vaccines.
    • Phase Two will include people who have 2 or more of certain chronic illnesses, those 65 or older, and certain people who work in education, transit, sanitation, public works and others.
    • Phase Three will provide vaccines to all remaining members of the public.

Barnstable County

COVID-19 Test Sites Open for Appointments on Cape Cod

COVID-19 Test Sites Open for Appointments on Cape Cod

Residents must call ahead for appointments at testing sites in Falmouth, Hyannis

HYANNIS (12/14/20) — Appointments for safe and more affordable COVID-19 testing services are available on Cape Cod at two testing sites across the region, beginning today. To receive a test, individuals must book an appointment in advance by calling the Community Testing Line at 508-534-7103. Tests for asymptomatic individuals are available for $75, and are offered for free to individuals who confirm their inability to pay when they call to book an appointment. For non-native English speakers, Spanish and Portuguese translation services will be available at both testing sites. Results are expected within 48 to 72 hours after testing at these sites.

Hours of operation and location for each of the testing sites are as follows:

  • Cape Cod Melody Tent, Hyannis
    • Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm beginning 12/14/20
    • Saturday and Sunday, 8am-noon beginning 12/19/20
  • Barnstable County Fairgrounds, Falmouth

Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday only, 10am-2pm beginning 12/15/20

Tests are self-administered PCR (polymerase chain reaction) nasal swabs. The Hyannis Fire Department will be on-site at the Melody Tent in Hyannis to assist individuals with the collection of samples; public health volunteers will be on site to assist at the Barnstable County Fairgrounds site in Falmouth. PCR swab tests are currently the most accurate testing method for detecting an active case of COVID-19, but individuals must continue taking steps to mitigate transmission risk even after receiving a negative test result. Individuals arriving at test sites must wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth, and are strongly encouraged to do so indoors and outdoors when interacting with others who are not in their household.

Instructions for symptomatic individuals or those referred for testing by a contact tracer:

Individuals who are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 are asked to contact their primary care physician for an initial screening. If individuals do not have a primary care physician, they must call the Community Testing Line at 508-862-5595 to be screened by a Cape Cod Healthcare clinical provider by phone. Afterwards, Cape Cod Healthcare will contact screened individuals to schedule an appointment for testing at a selected drive-through testing location. Payment will be processed through insurance for symptomatic individuals or those notified by a contact tracer of known exposure to another person with an active case of COVID-19.

Instructions for asymptomatic individuals:

These sites were designed in part to offer additional COVID-19 testing capacity for individuals not displaying symptoms of the virus. For individuals who suspect that they may have had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and have not been contacted by a contact tracer or for those who are taking additional steps to monitor their health, individuals pay an out-of-pocket fee of $75 to receive a test. No one will be denied a test in the event that they are unable to pay. Tests are $110 for those traveling from outside of Massachusetts and receiving this test to comply with state requirements upon return.

These Cape Cod testing sites are supported by funds secured by the Cape and Islands legislative delegation and contributions by Barnstable County and Cape Cod Healthcare. Although all involved wish all testing at these sites for asymptomatic individuals was free, fees for asymptomatic individuals must be charged to ensure the limited funds sustaining these sites do not deplete rapidly. The aim is to sustain this testing program for the next four to six months. Through the efforts of the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force, Barnstable County Government, the Cape and Islands legislative delegation, and Cape Cod Healthcare, these sites are able to offer COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic individuals at 50% below the regional market rate. The Cape and Islands legislative delegation continues to urge the Baker-Polito administration to establish at least one "Stop the Spread" testing site on Cape Cod that provides free for all individuals regardless of symptoms and operates in a manner similar to those in all other parts the Commonwealth. As of this week, the closest site of this kind to Hyannis is in New Bedford.

An announcement about testing sites on the Lower and Outer Cape is forthcoming; these sites will be made available in partnership with Outer Cape Health Services.

Cape Cod Commission and Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Launch Third Survey of COVID-19 Business Impacts

Survey seeks to better understand the impacts of COVID-19 following the peak season

For Immediate Release (January 6, 2021) – Continuing an economic impact discovery effort that began this spring, the Cape Cod Commission and the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce have issued a third online survey to Cape Cod business owners.

The first two surveys, conducted in May and August, provided critical information on immediate impacts to the region’s business community and insight on the support necessary for businesses to adapt. The third survey seeks to better understand the impacts of the pandemic over the course of the year and includes specific questions about fall and winter impacts.

Results will reveal more about changes to operations, revenue as compared to 2019, impacts to the workforce, and both financial and non-financial needs. Business owners will have the opportunity to provide critical insight on how operations might differ in 2021 due to the pandemic.

Data collected will inform the Cape Cod Commission’s economic resiliency planning efforts, which includes development of a regional economic resilience plan to address identified needs, and direct technical assistance to businesses by the Commission and the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.

Survey data collected to date can be leveraged by businesses, towns, and other organizations in grant applications and reports, as it documents the initial impacts of the pandemic as well as impacts felt during Cape Cod’s peak summer season. 

Responses are held confidentially, and results are reported out in aggregate. Business owners from throughout the region, including past survey participants, are encouraged to respond. The survey will be open through January, with results expected to be published in February.

The Cape Cod Businesses: Economic Impacts of Covid-19 survey is available here: https://cccom.link/ImpactSurveyJan2021
View results of the first survey: https://datacapecod.com/business-impact-survey
View results of the second survey: https://datacapecod.com/second-business-impact-survey/

Town of Brewster Urges Continued Vigilance as Local COVID-19 Cases Rise

Health Director Amy von Hone and Town Administrator Peter Lombardi are urging residents to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus by restricting time spent outside of our homes beyond what is absolutely necessary. We are in the midst of the second surge and must do everything we can to avoid any further increase in the spread of the virus in our community. Brewster has had a total of 160 positive COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. With 15 general population positives over the past 3 weeks, our current case rates are higher than what we experienced at the beginning of the pandemic or after the July 4th holiday. 

As a reminder, Governor Baker’s Executive Order requiring the early closure of certain businesses and his Stay at Home Advisory (https://www.mass.gov/news/stay-at-home-advisory) are still in effect to encourage us to limit our activities outside of our homes and immediate families. Additionally, masks or face coverings are mandatory in any public place whether you are indoors or outside, and anytime you are with people outside of your household family members. Masks, 6 foot social distancing, and good hygienic practices are still essential to reduce the spread of the virus since many of us will not show symptoms but are carriers of COVID-19.

If you plan to travel during the holiday season, it is important to plan ahead and acknowledge the potential impacts to you, your family, and coworkers. An unexpected COVID exposure or positive test may result in unplanned time away from work or school or may place vulnerable family members at risk.

If you experience COVID symptoms or an exposure to a COVID positive individual, please contact your doctor immediately and report your situation to the Health Department at (508) 896-3701 x. 1120. If you are waiting for a COVID test result, please stay home and monitor your health until you have received your test results to protect your family, friends, and others from possibly getting COVID-19. Also, please answer the call when contacted by the Health Department, or the Visiting Nurses Association, to help with our COVID investigations and to receive information to keep you and your families protected.

We want to reinforce the seriousness of the pandemic and urge you to remain vigilant for as long as it takes. It is critically important to not let your guard down just yet. Working together, the Brewster community will benefit from you taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Outer Cape Health Services to Offer COVID-19 Asymptomatic Testing Beginning December 23

Outer Cape Health Services (OCHS) now offers COVID-19 testing options for asymptomatic individuals via outdoor “drive up” testing at its three health center sites in Provincetown, Wellfleet and Harwich Port beginning Wednesday December 23.

To receive a test, individuals must book an appointment in advance by calling Outer Cape Health Services at 508-905-2888. Tests for asymptomatic individuals are free through January 10, 2021 in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health with logistical support from Barnstable County and funds secured by the Cape and Islands legislative delegation.

"The demand for more accessible COVID-19 testing persists on the Lower and Outer Cape, and Outer Cape Health Services has risen to meet this formidable challenge," said State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro). "While our region continues to go without a sorely needed Stop the Spread site, Cape Cod’s health care providers and public health officials have persistently worked to close our regional testing gap and help more residents receive tests, quarantine if necessary, and save lives."

“Once again, as Outer Cape Health Services has done throughout its history, they are stepping up to provide the best in healthcare and public health support for our communities on the Outer and Lower Cape,” said State Representative Sarah Peake (D-Provincetown). Offering these free and low-cost tests will be a real game changer for the people that live here. They continue to be there for us and I am very grateful to them for all of these efforts.”

The free antigen testing comes from a state Department of Public Health initiative to local health centers to provide free Abbott BinaxNOWTM COVID-19 Ag Card tests for COVID-19. The self-administered test provides a high reliability of the results. Patients who test negative will be notified via text message. Patients who test positive will be contacted directly by OCHS via a phone call. Tests may be billed to individuals with insurance but not charged a co-pay; however, no one will be turned away. Outer Cape Health Services will also continue to provide symptomatic tests at all three sites and bill insurance. If an individual is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or has been referred to testing related to contact tracing, the individual should call OCHS first for a telehealth screening visit. For individuals seeking testing for travel related reasons, a $110 fee applies for the required PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) molecular test to meet state requirements.

  • All individuals must call (508) 905-2888 in advance to make a testing appointment.
  • Testing sites and hours for prescheduled appointments are:

OCHS Harwich Port Health Center, 710 Rt. 28:
Tuesday and Thursday, 1pm-3pm

OCHS Wellfleet Health Center, 3130 State Highway Route 6:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1:30pm-3 :30pm

OCHS Provincetown Health Center, 49 Harry Kemp Way:
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 1:30pm-3:30pm

After January 10, 2021, individuals will pay a subsidized out-of-pocket fee of $75 to receive an asymptomatic PCR test, unless the state extends their free testing initiative. No one will be denied a test if they are unable to pay.

Updates for Drive-Through Test Facilities in Hyannis and Falmouth

  • When calling to schedule a test at the Hyannis or Falmouth site, please note that the Community Testing Line has been changed to 508-534-7103.
  • Test results are currently available within 24-96 hours.
  • For individuals seeking testing due to travel, the out-of-pocket cost is $110. For asymptomatic individuals seeking testing to monitor their health, the out-of-pocket cost is $75. Accommodations will be made for those unable to pay, as no one seeking testing will be turned away.
  • Test sites and hours for prescheduled appointments are as follows:

Cape Cod Melody Tent, Hyannis
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm | Saturday and Sunday, 8am-noon
Please note hours exception: on 12/24/20, this site will be open 8am-noon

Barnstable County Fairgrounds, Falmouth
Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday, 10am-2pm
Please note hours exception: for the weeks of 12/20/20 and 12/27/20, this site will
be open Monday and Tuesday, 10am-2pm. Regular hours of Tuesday and
Wednesday, 10am-2pm, will resume week of 1/3/21.

These Cape Cod testing sites are supported by funds secured by the Cape and Islands legislative delegation and contributions by Barnstable County, Cape Cod Healthcare, and Outer Cape Health Services. In order to sustain these limited funds for four to six months, fees must be charged for tests administered to asymptomatic individuals. For full information regarding hours, costs, locations, and contact, please visit BarnstableCountyHealth.org.

How Has COVID-19 Impacted You?

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA-DPH) is trying to better help people through the COVID-19 crisis by hearing about their experiences and challenges right now. By taking this survey, you can help find new solutions to community problems, and give MA-DPH the information they need to take action and support the communities that need it most. MA-DPH is also committed to sharing information back in ways that will help us all take collective action.

I believe this effort will help us better understand the impact of COVID-19 on our communities, and would encourage anyone over the age of 14 to participate using this link: www.mass.gov/COVIDsurvey

COVID Testing Resources

Anyone experiencing symptoms (fever, cough, headache, loss of taste or smell, or shortness of breath) or has been within 6’ of a confirmed positive COVID individual for at least 15 minutes, should be tested to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Please see the latest information from the US Food & Drug Administration on coronavirus testing.   Numerous test centers are now available across the Cape.

Mid/Lower Cape Locations: 

For a complete listing (downloadable) of locations on Cape Cod, please click here. Note that this is for informational purposes only and does not represent an endorsement or approval by the Town of Brewster.

Barnstable County Gets Creative with Appeals to Generation Z to Practice Safety Precautions During COVID-19

The Campaign Includes a TikTok Video Challenge Promoting Mask-Wearing

Barnstable, MA. (July 30, 2020) — The Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment is exploring new ways to convey to young locals and visitors the importance of wearing masks during the pandemic and launched the #ShowUpWithAMask campaign today.

So far, the campaign includes a one-minute Public Service Announcement featuring several youths promoting mask-wearing, most of whom are residents on Cape Cod between the ages of 15 and 25. The video is posted on all County social media platforms and websites as of today. The campaign also includes a TikTok Challenge that calls for youth to create videos based on the #ShowUpWithAMask concept that can be viewed on the County's new TikTok page www.tiktok.com/@barnstablecounty.

Barnstable County Communications Manager Sonja Sheasley said, "We know we are taking a risk because TikTok is completely different than how local governments normally do social media, which is via Facebook and Twitter. However, we see TikTok as an entertainment app with the potential to engage creative, young locals and visitors in sharing this essential message in a fun way, and at the height of our summer season. We are hoping to see some videos promoting mask-wearing far more creative than we have come up with."  

The instructions posted on the Barnstable County Health and Environment website are

Accept our TikTok #ShowUpWithAMask Challenge. Go to www.tiktok.com/@barnstablecounty to see what we've posted. Upload your original video to your TikTok account that promotes mask-wearing. Use fun transitions and music expressing the concept of "showing up with a mask," and don't forget to use the hashtags #ShowUpWithAMask and #CapeCod so we can share it!

Barnstable County Youth Are Invited to Request A Free Mask While Supplies Last

To further drive the message on the importance of wearing a mask, Barnstable County is also offering a free mask to Barnstable County youth in the age range of 15-25. These residents are prompted to fill out a short form, and a surgical mask will be mailed to them with a thank you letter from the County within 5-7 days.  

Deputy Director of the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment, Erika Woods, says, "As part of this campaign to reach a younger demographic and to remind them of this community responsibility, we are happy to send young residents a free mask. It may not be much, but we want to offer what we can." 

To receive a free mask from the County, you must be between 15 and 25. The County has set aside a certain number of surgical masks for youth requests and will send them out while those supplies last, up to three per household.

About the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment

Established under a Special Act of the Legislature in 1926, the Barnstable County Department of Health & Environment (BCDHE) provides regional public health and environmental health services throughout the 15 towns comprising Barnstable County. The Department manages several environmental, public health, and homeland security grants funded through state and federal resources. The Department's primary mission is to protect public health and the environment and promote the physical and mental health and well-being of the residents of Barnstable County.

For media inquiries:

Contact: Sonja Sheasley, Communications Manager

Sonja.Sheasley@barnstablecounty.org