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.
This coronavirus (COVID-19) causes respiratory (lung) infection. Symptoms include:
Shortness of breath
In more serious case, pneumonia (a lung infection) may develop
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.
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.
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
Sherrie McCullough, Assistant Health Director
Tammi Mason, Senior Department Assistant
In light of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Governor Baker issued an emergency Order on March 12, 2020 allowing public bodies greater flexibility in utilizing technology in the conduct of meetings under the Open Meeting Law. The Town of Brewster greatly values the participation of its citizens in the public meeting process but, given the current circumstances and recommendations at both the state and federal levels to limit or avoid public gatherings, including Governor Baker’s ban on gatherings of more than 25 people, together with the present closure of Brewster Town Hall and all other town offices to the public, the Town of Brewster has decided to implement the “remote participation” procedures allowed under Governor Baker’s emergency Order for all boards, committees, and commissions. This means that:
All or any of the members of the public body may choose to participate in a public meeting via remote access. Meetings may be virtual, in their entirety.
The public will not be allowed into a Board/Committee meeting, even where there are any members of the public body and/or Town of Brewster staff or official(s) physically present at the meeting location during the meeting. “Public comment” portions of meetings will be temporarily suspended. However, residents are encouraged to send written comments to the following relevant email addresses in advance of and/or duringeach meeting:
All relevant comments will be verbally shared to Board and Committee members by Town staff at the appropriate time as part of the meeting proceedings and will be entered into the meeting minute records.
All supporting materials for each of these meetings will be available in advance on the Town’s website. Both the web address for meeting materials and the email address for public comment will be listed on the board, committee, or commission meeting agenda.
In addition, the public will be provided with alternative access through which they can watch or listen to meetings “in real time” via the livestreaming feature on our Town website and/or via Channel 18. Meeting notices will specify the manner in which members of the public may access audio or video of the meeting as it is occurring.
If, despite our best efforts, our technological capabilities do not adequately support public access to virtual or remote meetings, the Town of Brewster will ensure that an audio or video recording, transcript, or other comprehensive record of the proceedings at the meeting is posted on the Town’s website as soon as possible after the meeting.
Notices for public hearings will contain additional information about how the public may participate via electronic/technological means.
For executive session meetings, public access to the meeting will be limited to the open session portion(s) of the meeting only. Public access to any audio, video, internet or web-based broadcast of the meeting will be discontinued when the public body enters executive session.
Where individuals have a right, or are required, to attend a public meeting or hearing, including executive session meetings, they will be provided with information about how to participate in the meeting/hearing remotely.
Meeting notices will still be posted at least 48 hours in advance (not counting Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays), unless it is an emergency meeting as defined under the Open Meeting Law (in which event, the meeting notice will be posted with as much advanced notice as is possible in the circumstances). Minutes will still be taken.
Please check individual meeting agendas on the calendar on the Town’s website, located at www.brewster-ma.gov for the latest information regarding meetings. Each meeting may experience unique circumstances that may require last minute changes in protocol, including cancellation or rescheduling. We appreciate your patience as we undergo this shift in a significant aspect of how the Town of Brewster conducts business.
Town of Brewster – The State of Massachusetts has launched an online tool to help people determine if they might have coronavirus and to find the right care. The tool is called “Buoy” and has a “Symptom Checker” where a resident identifies symptoms they have and then receives advice on how to manage them.
The tool is easy to use and free for Massachusetts residents. Buoy also provides information on self-quarantine, self-isolation, and other relevant topics. The State reminds users that Buoy should not be used in an emergency, but should call 911 or visit the closest emergency department.
To use Buoy, visit: https://www.buoyhealth.com
BARNSTABLE (MA) March 27, 2020 – The Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee (BCREPC) held a conference call on Thursday, March 26, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. to review the current COVID-19 conditions and to discuss ongoing 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 and representatives from Cape Cod Healthcare.
Read more: Barnstable County Continues to Prepare for Increased Number of COVID-19 Cases
Town of Brewster, Massachusetts – The Town of Brewster will limit parking at the Brewster Herring Run and Grist Mill, 830 Stony Brook Road, to eight (8) spaces during the coronavirus pandemic. Eight (8) standard parking spaces inclufing one (1) handicapped-designated space will be available. Restricted parking will begin Saturday, March 28 and remain in effect until further notice.
The Brewster herring run traditionally welcomes hundreds of visitors while the herring are running from late March or early April through early summer. Action to limit parking is necessary because paths at the herring run and grist mill are narrow, space to move about freely is limited, and the area is known to become congested while the herring are running.
Visitors to the herring run during the pandemic are asked to respect social distance guidelines and keep at least six (6) feet from other visitors, as well as following other public health guidance.
The Town regrets it is necessary to limit the number of visitors to the herring run, but the public’s health and well-being are the first priority. Steps like this will help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Town Offices are open Tuesdays and Thursdays and the Town continues to provide the following essential services. The continued provision of these services is consistent with the latest state and local response measures to the coronavirus pandemic.
A new drop box has been installed at the main entrance to Town Hall for the public to use to drop off documents while Town Hall is closed.
Read more: Update on Limited Essential Town Services