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
Barnstable County and Cape Cod Healthcare opened a drive-thru coronavirus testing site in the Cape Cod Community College parking lot. Patients must have a physician’s order from Cape Cod Healthcare to be tested. The site will be open 8am to 6pm seven days a week. Patients who do not have a primary care provider can call a Cape Cod Healthcare Urgent Care center
Barnstable County has opened its Multi-Agency Coordination Center (MACC), the County’s emergency operations center, to coordinate County coronavirus activities.
Barnstable County offices are closed; County employees are working under a telecommuting plan.
Barnstable County Water Quality Laboratory is open; customers may have samples sent by courier or may enter and drop samples on the office counter.
The Barnstable County Commissioners will meet March 18 via remote participation only.
The Assembly of Delegates meeting scheduled for March 18 has been cancelled.
The Registry of Deeds is open for electronic recordings only. No research or on-site closings are permitted.
The Cape Cod Medical Reserve Corps gained 24 new volunteers this week. A plan for using the Corps is in development and may include support to the Cape’s senior centers.
The County urges the public to practice public health guidance that will save lives and protect our health, including social distancing, staying home, and hand-washing.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - BARNSTABLE COUNTY, MA | March 13, 2020 – In response to Governor Charlie Baker's Declaration of Emergency for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners declare that effective immediately, March 13, 2020, a state of emergency is declared to exist in Barnstable County due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to County Administrator John Yunits, Jr., "This declaration has been issued, at the request of the Board of Regional Commissioners, to help us prepare, give the County the administrative capability to adapt County operations, and ensure the allocation of more resources as it relates to COVID-19.”
The Town of Brewster established a Coronavirus Task Force that first met on March 10 to ensure Brewster is properly prepared to manage cases of the virus if they occur here. Town Administrator Peter Lombardi convened a group of key town leaders including the Fire and Police Chiefs, Health Director and Assistant Health Director, Assistant Town Administrators, Facilities Manager, Council on Aging Director, Library Director, representatives from Brewster’s elementary schools, and other relevant town officials. Two members of the Select Board participated as well as a member of the Board of Health.
The Task Force is focused on ensuring:
Residents have access to trustworthy information about the virus, including proper prevention measures.
Residents are provided with the latest information about town activities and guidance related to the coronavirus.
Contingency plans are in place to continue to provide town services to residents.
The group will meet weekly for the foreseeable future, and will distribute updates here and on the Town’s social media platforms. The Town has established a new page dedicated to the latest coronavirus information on our website.
Specific action items from the March 10 meeting include:
All non-essential town employee attendance at conferences, seminars, and others trainings has been suspended until further notice.
Enhanced cleaning procedures are underway in town buildings and schools, particularly in high touch areas.
Town employees have been reminded of the most current recommended hygiene practices, particularly staying home if they are sick.
While we continue to offer full services to residents at this time, social distancing techniques may be implemented in the near future. Board and committee meetings and hearings will continue to be held as scheduled until further notice, but residents are being encouraged to view these meetings remotely [insert link].
This is an incredibly dynamic public health challenge. We will continue to monitor the situation and will provide regular updates regarding any additional measures needed to safeguard the health and safety of our residents, visitors, and employees. If you wish to receive daily email updates about the latest local developments and all other town activities, you may sign up here.