The Town of Mashpee is coordinating directly with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Barnstable County Department of Health & Environment to respond to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The Visiting Nurse Association is handling our infectious disease investigations related to COVID-19, and all reporting is done to the MA Department of Public Health.
For the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19, please visit the following websites:
MA DPH: https://www.mass.gov/covid19
Barnstable County DH&E: https://www.barnstablecountyhealth.org/
Residents may also text keyword ‘COVIDMA’ to 888-777 to subscribe to real-time updates from the MA Department of Public Health.
Based on CDC recommendations, the Baker-Polito administration issued new travel guidelines on March 27, 2020. All travelers arriving to Massachusetts are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days. Health care workers, public health workers, public safety workers, transportation workers, and designated essential workers are exempt from these recommendations.
Blood Donations Needed Urgently
The Governor has deemed “Blood and plasma donors and the employees of the organizations that operate and manage related activities” as an essential service. Donating blood is a necessity to supply hospitals with the blood our neighbors require. Donating blood is safe and people should not hesitate to give. Those who are healthy, feeling well and eligible to give blood or platelets are urged to make an appointment to donate as soon as possible. To donate through Cape Cod Healthcare, please visit https://www.capecodhealth.org/ways-to-give/blood-center/. To donate via the Red Cross, please visit www.RedCrossBlood.org, or call 1800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
On March 10, 2020, the Baker-Polito administration declared a State of Emergency for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in order to provide state agencies with sufficient resources for responding to COVID-19 cases. Since then, there have been many orders related to COVID-19 released from the Governor’s office. These orders include:
- Effective April 3, 2020, all coastal beach reservation parking areas managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation will be closed to reduce large concentrations of people at beaches. State beaches will remain open to pedestrians for transitory use only (walking, jogging, fishing, etc.).
- Effective April 3, 2020, the Department of Conservation and Recreation has opened select seasonal state parks early and has expanded access to other parks to provide additional open space opportunities for residents. State parks and parking areas remain open, but the public is asked to visit state parks and open space properties located near their homes to ensure social distancing and limit the spread of COVID-19. Visit the following website for the MA State Parks COVID-19 Updates webpage: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-state-parks-covid-19-update
- Per the updated essential business list, hotels, motels, and short-term rentals may only be used for efforts related to fighting COVID-19, like front line health workers or individuals, or for Massachusetts residents who have been otherwise displaced from their residences. These lodging facilities may no longer be used for vacation, travel, or leisure purposes.
- The Massachusetts state income tax filing deadline has been extended until July 15, 2020.
- Grocery stores and pharmacies must provide alternative hours for those aged 60 and older, and implement social distancing protocols to maintain a six foot distance between customers.
- Closure of all physical workplaces for businesses and organizations that do not provide COVID-19 Essential Services to workers and the public from March 24, 2020 until after 12:00 noon on April 7, 2020. Order extended through May 4, 2020.
- Prohibition of gatherings larger than 10 people until further notice. Prohibition extended through May 4, 2020.
- Prohibition of on-premises consumption of food or beverages at restaurants, bars, and food service establishments. Food and beverage service may continue for take-out and delivery only, provided that employees and customers are able to maintain a distance of six feet from one another.
- Closure of all child care programs in the Commonwealth from March 23, 2020 until April 6, 2020, excluding emergency child care programs designated by the Department of Early Education and Care. Order extended through May 4, 2020.
- All public and private K-12 schools in the Commonwealth, excluding residential and day schools for special needs students, shall suspend normal in-person instruction from March 17th through April 5th. Order extended through May 4, 2020.
- All public and state-licensed hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities, shall screen and restrict visitation as necessary to protect the health of patients and staff, until the end of the state of emergency.
- For full details on these Orders, and many others, please visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-state-of-emergency
All residents of Massachusetts are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing protocols, and limit their contact with others whenever possible. If you are over 60 years of age, and/or have certain health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, limit your time in public spaces. Healthy individuals younger than 60 are also strongly encouraged to adhere to this recommendation. Emerging evidence shows that COVID-19 is highly contagious, and those that are least affected by symptoms can still spread the disease to those that are most vulnerable.
If you exhibit symptoms of respiratory illness, please call your primary care physician. To check your symptoms and receive information about appropriate healthcare resources, use Buoy Health’s online resource by visiting https://www.buoyhealth.com/symptom-checker/?configuration=ma_covid&conce.... If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, your doctor will screen you over the phone. Barnstable County has issued “Instructions for Receiving COVID-19 Testing” at their testing locations. Do not expect to get tested for COVID-19 without following these steps. Read the instructions by following this link: https://www.barnstablecountyhealth.org/newsroom/important-instructions-f...
Need emotional support or crisis counseling? Use the following resources:
- Samaritans is continuing operations 24/7, as always. During this unprecedented time, it can feel overwhelming to receive constant messages about COVID-19. Call or text their 24/7 helpline at 877-870-4673.
- Disaster Distress Helpline offers immediate crisis counseling through their 24/7 national hotline at 1-800-985-5990.
- Call 2-1-1 and choose “Call2Talk” for emotional support.
These simple precautions will help prevent the spread of the flu, COVID-19, and other respiratory illnesses:
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, using a tissue or the inside of your elbow
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water frequently and use hand sanitizer
- If you have a fever or feel sick, stay home and call your healthcare provider
- Maintain a distance of six feet from others when in public spaces
- Limit out-of-state or international travel whenever possible
- Clean and sanitize high-contact household surfaces often, including doorknobs, handles, keyboards, remotes, and common surfaces
For more information, please visit the following links:
Prevention & Treatment: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html
Travel Information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
Stop the Spread of Germs: https://www.mass.gov/doc/stop-the-spread-of-germs-respiratory-diseases-l...
Planning & Preparedness: https://www.mass.gov/knowplanprepare