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For Immediate Release: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) News


Information from Barnstable County and Barnstable County Department of Health & Environment

Press Contacts: Sean O’Brien, Barnstable County Department of Environment & Health |508-375-6618|
Erika Woods, Barnstable County Department of Health & Environment | 508-375-6620 |

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

March 2, 2020

For Immediate Release | Barnstable, MA – The novel (new) coronavirus (2019-nCov) has been declared a global health emergency and a national health emergency in the United States. Barnstable County Public Health officials are closely working with Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Cape Cod Hospital. Barnstable County Public Health officials encourage residents to stay informed about COVID-19.  

What We Know at This Time

  • The risk of being infected with “coronavirus disease 2019” (“COVID-19”) on Cape Cod is low at this time, but it is prudent to prepare for its appearance.
  • This is a quickly evolving situation and updated information will be provided.

Barnstable County’s Role

  • Barnstable County Government coordinates Cape Cod’s public health emergency preparedness and response activities in support of the 15 local Boards of Health.
  • Our local response will be guided by the Massachusetts Governor’s Office and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Protecting Yourself and Others from Coronavirus

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow if you cough or sneeze.
  3. Stay at home if you are sick.
  4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  5. Keep at least 3 feet between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  6. People do not need to wear masks in public to protect themselves.

Barnstable County’s Current Coronavirus Actions. We are:

  • Helping to prepare the Cape’s public health officials, emergency management officials, public safety officials, hospitals, and health care providers to respond properly to coronavirus cases if they occur here. This includes reviewing training plans, use of safety equipment, establishing triage centers, and laboratory testing.
  • Creating a webpage dedicated to the most up-to-date coronavirus information.
  • Consulting with physicians and epidemiologists (professionals who study the spread of disease).
  • Prepared to provide support and assistance to local town officials who will be directing their community’s response.
  • Ordering supplies to have on hand if they are needed.

Coronavirus Information Sources. Seek accurate sources of information. All social media postings may not be accurate. Recommended sources include:

Information for Health Care Providers

  • Any health care provider who suspects a person is infected with COVID-19 should call the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to discuss testing at (617) 983-6800.