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

Brewster Cumulative Cases: 148 (98 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.

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
 

 

Cape Cod Reopening Task Force Offers Reactions to Governor Baker’s Reopening Plan

Task Force Members Working In Unison to Prepare for Summer 2020 as Memorial Day Weekend Approaches

Cape Cod – The Cape Cod Reopening Task Force released a statement regarding the outlook for Summer 2020 today, after Governor Charlie Baker announced the reopening plan for the Commonwealth on Monday.

“We are cautiously optimistic that our friends, relatives and guests will return to the Cape this summer for respite and a return to a traditional vacation,” said Wendy Northcross, CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and Facilitator for the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force . “This optimism is supported by our recent traveler sentiment survey. The volume and pace of this summer is expected to differ from prior summers, but 67% of our opt-in visitor database is reporting they are likely to visit the Cape this year.” The Chamber is the region’s tourism council, which promotes Cape Cod and the Islands to visitors from around the world.

Read more: Cape Cod Reopening Task Force Offers Reactions to Governor Baker’s Reopening Plan

Town Establishes Brewster COVID Relief Fund

In an effort to help coordinate local fundraising and philanthropic efforts to provide direct and essential support to Brewster residents whose health and well-being are most immediately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, the Town has established the Brewster COVID Relief Fund. This fund will focus on meeting the basic needs of our residents during these challenging times. The Town will begin accepting applications in the very near future, and will provide eligibility information about this confidential program at that time. Once applicants are determined to be eligible, a new Brewster COVID Relief Fund Committee will make funding decisions, with all payments made directly to the appropriate vendor. We encourage residents and businesses to donate to the fund if you are able, knowing that your donation will go directly to a neighbor in need. Donations are tax deductible.

If you are interested in serving on the Brewster COVID Relief Committee, please contact Robin Young in the Select Board/Town Administrator's office at 508-896-3701 x 1100 or email your resume, a brief history of your work and/or volunteer activities, and a completed Serve Your Community form to ryoung@brewster-ma.gov.

Barnstable County Announces Task Force to Guide Strategies on Reopening Cape Cod

(Barnstable, MA., April 30, 2020) –In anticipation of a decline in COVID-19 cases and as the summer season approaches, Barnstable County is forming a Reopening Task Force to develop recommendations and guidelines for reopening non-essential businesses and organizations on Cape Cod. This group, which will include County administration, County public health officials, the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, local business leaders and Boards of Health, will bring diverse and necessary perspectives to the table.

Barnstable County Administrator Jack Yunits, Jr. said, “We look forward to developing recommendations for our local businesses and organizations so we can safely put Cape Codders back to work and help create the safest environment for all Barnstable County residents and our summer visitors.”

The Reopening Task Force is following the lead of the Commonwealth and has set a goal to work over the next several weeks to develop a report by May 20. The report will outline comprehensive recommendations for Cape Cod to reopen its economy in a safe, organized and effective manner, and will be substantially aligned with guidance from the Commonwealth.

Task Force Launched to Reopen Cape Cod Safely

(CAPE COD) A region-wide task force has been assembled to develop strategies for reopening Cape Cod once it is safe to do so. The Cape Cod Reopening Task Force is led by the Cape & Islands Legislative Delegation, the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, and Barnstable County, with participation from Cape Cod Healthcare, municipal officials, first responders, community leaders, and others.

The goal of the Task Force is to pursue a safe and structured approach to reopening commercial and social activities on Cape Cod. Through its work, the Task Force will coordinate authorities and entities across Cape Cod to provide one consistent message to the region’s year-round residents, seasonal residents, second home-owners, summer workers, and visitors; such coordination will both advance public health and promote economic vitality when we are able to reopen.

Brewster Town Administrator, Peter Lombardi, is a member of this regional task force.

Read more: Task Force Launched to Reopen Cape Cod Safely

Expanded Testing of Brewster Long-Term Care Facility Identifies COVID-19 Positive Cases

Brewster, Massachusetts– In early April, Massachusetts introduced a new statewide COVID-19 testing program for residents and staff of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care facilities. This program provides safe, onsite sampling and timely test results. On April 10, Pleasant Bay Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 383 South Orleans Road, Brewster, voluntarily participated in this testing program after several of their Nursing Center residents experienced COVID-19 symptoms. By April 20, following three rounds of testing, 60 of Pleasant Bay Nursing Center’s 92 residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Only 5 of their residents remain untested. 

Officials from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality, the licensing and enforcement agencies responsible for long-term care facilities, are actively involved in overseeing the response at Pleasant Bay. In addition, Cape Cod Healthcare and the Visiting Nurses Association are ensuring appropriate staffing and personal protective equipment are available to prevent further spread within their facilities and the community at large.

Brewster Town Administration and Health Department officials are working closely with the Visiting Nurses Association and state and county agencies to ensure that the residents and staff at Pleasant Bay have access to appropriate care and that precautions are taken to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Although state agencies license the facility and have authority over its management, Brewster town officials will continue to be engaged in monitoring the response to the cases identified at Pleasant Bay.

The Town of Brewster reported its first 2 cases of COVID-19 on March 21, 2020. Since additional testing for COVID-19 became available through the efforts of Cape Cod Healthcare and the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee, the number of positive cases in Brewster has gradually increased over the past month, consistent with the trend on Cape Cod. As of April 18, Brewster officials reported 32 positive cases. Including the 60 cases recently identified at the Pleasant Bay Nursing Center, Brewster now has 76 total cases.  The town will continue to provide regular updates to its positive case totals.

Nursing homes across the U.S. are highly vulnerable to the coronavirus. On April 15, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced new funding and initiatives to support long-term care facilities in the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services launched a Nursing Home Family Resource hotline which can be reached by calling (617) 660-5399, 9AM to 5PM, 7 days a week. Concerned citizens are encouraged to call with questions and to be connected to available resources.

Treasury, IRS unveil online application to help with Economic Impact Payments

Treasury, IRS unveil online application to help with Economic Impact Payments; Get My Payment allows people to provide direct deposit information and gives payment date

WASHINGTON – Working with the Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service today unveiled the new Get My Payment with features to let taxpayers check on their Economic Impact Payment date and update direct deposit information.

With an initial round of more than 80 million Economic Impact Payments starting to hit bank accounts over the weekend and throughout this week, this new tool will help address key common questions. Get My Payment will show the projected date when a deposit has been scheduled, similar to the “Where’s My Refund tool” many taxpayers are already familiar with.

Get My Payment also allows people a chance to provide their bank information. People who did not use direct deposit on their last tax return will be able to input information to receive the payment by direct deposit into their bank account, expediting receipt.

Read more: Treasury, IRS unveil online application to help with Economic Impact Payments

Free Grocery Delivery Service Launches for Barnstable County Seniors and Residents at Higher Risk

(Barnstable, MA., April 29, 2020) – The Cape Cod Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), in service to the Barnstable County Incident Command COVID-19 response, is providing a free service delivering prepaid groceries to seniors and people at higher risk for infection. The new program is called Critical Delivery Service.

The initiative consists of over 40 MRC volunteers who will pick up pre-ordered, prepaid groceries from food stores offering curbside pickup options, and deliver to residents in all 15 towns of Barnstable County.

Director of the Cape Cod Medical Reserve Corps Diana Gaumond said, “Through inquires sent to Barnstable County’s general COVID-19 email address, we found that there are many seniors who are isolating at home who need help accessing groceries. The Cape Cod Medical Reserve Corps is happy to help. In fact, within minutes of announcing this initiative internally, MRC Volunteer Carol Billingsley stepped up to fill the role of Delivery Coordinator, and 40 volunteers offered to deliver food to residents in need.”

Gaumond emphasized that volunteers:

  • will not be doing personal shopping. (There should be little to no time spent in grocery stores.)
  • will not be handling money or credit cards
  • will wear a mask at points of pickup and delivery
  • will practice good hand hygiene and social distancing.
  • Instructions for Ordering Food Using the MRC’s Critical Delivery Service

Call 508-556-7161 Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM and speak with an MRC Volunteer. You will provide your name, address, and phone number, and discuss options of stores where you can order.

  1. A Delivery Volunteer will be assigned to you.
  2. You will order from the store as instructed, prepaying for the groceries.
  3. You will confirm the curbside pickup time with your assigned Delivery Volunteer.
  4. Your Delivery Volunteer will pick up and deliver groceries using safe practices of social distancing, wearing a mask, and not going inside the home.

*The Cape Cod Medical Reserve Corps Volunteer can usually provide same day pickup and delivery if the order is phoned in by noon.

See a list of participating grocery stores with pre-ordering and curbside pickup options at https://bit.ly/CCMRC_FOOD.

Slowing the spread of COVID-19 is essential for “flattening the curve” of infections, which will curb the outbreak, prevent hospitals from getting overwhelmed with patients seeking treatment, and ultimately reduce the number of deaths. For current information on the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), please visit the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment’s website: barnstablecountyhealth.org. If you have questions or concerns, please email COVID-19@barnstablecounty.org.

ABOUT THE CAPE COD MEDICAL RESERVE CORPS: The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a national network of volunteers, organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities. The MRC network comprises approximately 175,000 volunteers in roughly 850 community-based units located throughout the United States and its territories. MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals, as well as other community members without healthcare backgrounds. MRC units engage these volunteers to strengthen public health, improve emergency response capabilities, and build community resiliency. They prepare for and respond to natural disasters, such as wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, blizzards, and floods, as well as other emergencies affecting public health, such as disease outbreaks. The Cape Cod MRC currently maintains a database of over 300 volunteers from across Cape Cod. 

 

Brewster’s Former Wingate Facility to be Opened for COVID-19 Patients

The coronavirus pandemic is expected to peak in Massachusetts in the next week and, based on the most recent projections, there may not be enough hospital beds in Barnstable County for the number of estimated cases. At the direction of state officials, three facilities are being prepared on Cape Cod to expand capacity.

The former Wingate at Brewster nursing home located on Route 124 is one of the facilities being prepared. The facility originally closed in January 2019 and is expected to commence operations again the week of April 13, 2020, serving up to approximately 80 COVID-19 patients who do not need intensive care but are not well enough to be discharged. Town officials have worked with Cape Cod Health Care to ensure that using this facility for these purposes will not impact local services.

Two other similar facilities are being established by Cape Cod Health Care. Another skilled nursing facility is being prepared to open in Falmouth as well as a field hospital at Joint Base Cape Cod.

Staying home and practicing social distancing will reduce the need for beds like these at surge facilities.