COVID Information

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Brewster Cumulative Cases: 574 (463 residents, 111 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. Click here for a chart of cases by date.

The Brewster Town Offices are available by email and phone Monday through Friday 8:30am to 4pm and are open to the public Tuesday through Thursday. Inspectional services are available, click here for more 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
 

 

NEW CDC Guidance – Choosing Safer Activities per Vaccination Status

In general, people are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

If you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated.

Barnstable County is transitioning to the new, state-run vaccine pre-registration system, called Color.

Barnstable County is transitioning to the new, state-run vaccine pre-registration system, called Color. Here's what you need to know:

In order to get a first-dose vaccine appointment at one of our clinics, you must pre-register through the Mass.gov website. Simply click the link below:

Preregister for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment | Mass.gov

  • Once you are pre-registered, the system will alert you via your preferred form of communication (phone, email or text) when there is an opportunity for you to schedule an appointment. Appointments are offered based on eligibility and availability of vaccine.
  • We will no longer be posting our clinics on www.maimmunizations.org.
  • We are no longer sending emails notifying the public of upcoming clinic dates and specific clinic registration opening times.
  • Barnstable County clinics will continue to take place weekly at the Cape Cod Community College gymnasium. The clinics are indoors and wheelchair accessible.
  • First dose clinics will not take place every week; some weeks will serve to provide second doses to those who received their initial vaccination at one of our earlier clinics.

Over the coming weeks, vaccine availability at select pharmacy locations is expected to increase substantially.

  • If you are able to find an appointment elsewhere while you are waiting to be contacted by the state system (for example, at your local pharmacy or grocery store), there are several clear avenues to opt out. The state system will only notify you regarding appointment openings at publicly run clinics.

Cape Cod Commission introduces COVID-19 Recovery and Resiliency Toolkits for Cape Cod’s local businesses

Cape Cod Commission introduces COVID-19 Recovery and Resiliency Toolkits for Cape Cod’s local businesses
Industry-specific strategies for addressing current challenges and planning for business continuity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (April 8, 2021) – The Cape Cod Commission is pleased to present the second round of its COVID-19 Recovery and Resiliency Workshop Series, an initiative designed to support business owners who are navigating the economic impacts of the pandemic and planning for future resiliency. This round of virtual workshops will introduce COVID-19 Recovery and Resiliency Toolkits.

The toolkits span a broad range of subject areas including online sales and marketing, risk assessment, and collaboration/networking practices. Participants will learn about industry-specific strategies tailored to address the challenges facing Cape Cod businesses. The webinar series schedule is as follows: 

This round of virtual workshops builds on an initial presentation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and other funding resources, and the first round of workshops which introduced the Commission's broader business recovery and resiliency efforts and provided examples of business resiliency and continuity in action. The presentation slides and video recordings from these workshops are available here.

This workshop series is funded by a U.S. Economic Development Administration CARES Act grant and is designed to help support Cape Cod businesses as they recover from the impacts of the pandemic and increase their resiliency. The Cape Cod Commission has been working with Boston-based consultant Revby to facilitate the workshops, develop the economic resiliency toolkits, and identify relevant strategies for local and regional economic recovery.

All interested Cape Cod business owners are invited to attend this free workshop series, but space is limited, and registration is required. Business owners unable to attend their own industry's workshop are encouraged to participate in a different workshop that fits their schedule.

For more information and to register, please visit capecodcommission.org/business

National Association of County and City Health Officials Informational Bulletin

CDC and FDA Recommendation to Pause Use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine
April 13, 2021

  • CDC and FDA are recommending a pause in use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine after six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine and in order to prepare the health care system to recognize and treat patients appropriately, to report severe events they may be seeing in people who have received the J&J vaccine.
  • As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the U.S. CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine.
    • In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia).
    • All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.
  • Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered.
    • Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given.
  • CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday from 1:30-4:30pm ET to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. o FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases.
  • CDC and FDA are recommending a pause in use of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine in order to prepare the health care system to recognize and treat patients appropriately, to report severe events they may be seeing in people who have received the J&J vaccine.
    • This pause also will allow CDC’s expert committee to review the situation.
    • Until that process is complete, we are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution.
    • This is important, in part, to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.
  • Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare.
  • COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government, and we take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously. For individuals receiving J&J vaccine:
  • For people who got the vaccine more than a month ago, the risk to them is very low at this time.
  • For people who recently got the vaccine—within the last few weeks—they should be aware of any symptoms.
    • If you have received the vaccine and develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath, they should contact their healthcare provider and seek medical treatment.
  • Importantly, there are three vaccines available. We are not seeing these events with the other two vaccines.
  • People who have vaccine appointments with the other two vaccines should continue with their appointment. Our partners will work with those scheduled to receive the J&J vaccine in the days ahead to reschedule. For clinicians:
  • Treatment of this specific type of blood clot, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), is different from the treatment that might typically be administered.
    • Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given. Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at https://vaers.

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Transition to Phase IV of Reopening Plan

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Transition to Phase IV of Reopening Plan
Massachusetts will advance to Step 1 of Phase IV on March 22; Replaces Travel Order with Travel Advisory

BOSTON — Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that Massachusetts will advance to Step 1 of Phase IV of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan on Monday, March 22. The Administration continues to take steps to reopen the Commonwealth's economy with public health metrics continuing to trend in a positive direction. This includes drops in average daily COVID cases and hospitalizations. Massachusetts also continues to be a national leader in vaccination rates. The Administration also replaced the Massachusetts Travel Order originally issued in July 2020 with a Travel Advisory, effective March 22. 

In addition, the Administration also announced nearly $31 million in awards to 710 additional small businesses in the tenth round of COVID-19 relief grants administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC). 

Phase IV, Step 1 and Gathering Changes:

On March 1, Massachusetts loosened capacity restrictions for several industries and advanced to Step 2 of Phase III of the reopening plan. Since then, hospitalizations dropped by 20% and deaths dropped by 24%. The seven day average of new cases in long-term care facilities dropped by 53%. The positive test rate remains below 2% and has been for several weeks now. The seven day average of new cases is also down over this time by 7%. 

Effective Monday, March 22, all communities in Massachusetts will move into Step 1 of Phase IV of the state’s reopening plan. This will open a range of previously closed business sectors under tight capacity restrictions that are expected to be adjusted over time if favorable trends in the public health data continue. Effective on the planned advancement to Step 1 of Phase IV, the following large capacity sports and entertainment venues will be permitted to operate at a strict 12% capacity limit after submitting a plan to the Department of Public Health (DPH):

  • Indoor and outdoor stadiums
  • Arenas
  • Ballparks

Also effective on March 22, gathering limits for event venues and in public settings will increase to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors. Outdoor gatherings at private residences and in private backyards will remain at a maximum of 25 people, with indoor house gatherings remaining at 10 people.

Additionally, dance floors will be permitted at weddings and other events only, and overnight summer camps will be allowed to operate this coming summer. Exhibition and convention halls may also begin to operate, following gatherings limits and event protocols. Other Phase IV sectors must continue to remain closed.

Travel Order:

Effective Monday, March 22, the Massachusetts Travel Order will be replaced with a Travel Advisory. 

The new travel advisory will urge all persons entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival if they have been out of the state for 24 hours or more. 

The advisory does not apply to anyone in the following categories:

  • Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after an absence of fewer than 24 hours. 
  • Travelers who have a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts. 
  • Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) while they are commuting to or from or while at work.
  • Travelers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago and who do not have symptoms). 

Travelers are additionally encouraged to consult and follow the CDC’s guidelines and requirements for travel. 

Statement from the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment on Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

Barnstable, MA- April 13, 2021 - Today, the FDA and CDC recommended that U.S. federal distribution channels, including all vaccination sites, pause the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until a review of the vaccine is completed. This is in response to an extremely rare occurrence of potentially dangerous blood clots, which was reported in 6 individuals nationwide.

Barnstable County has halted the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as of today. Two small Johnson & Johnson clinics planned for today and tomorrow have been canceled.  All other clinics hosted by Barnstable County will continue to use the Pfizer vaccine. Barnstable County has administered 1,400 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine since January of this year. 

Barnstable County advises Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients who received their shot within the last three weeks to contact their health care provider if they experience severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath.

More than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects.

The other two authorized vaccines, from Moderna and Pfizer, make up the vast share of COVID-19 shots administered in the U.S., and are not affected by the pause. Barnstable County has predominantly received the Pfizer vaccine.

Currently, 3,500 Pfizer doses are received on a weekly basis.

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Vaccine Timeline for All Residents, Provides Weekly Dose Updates & $24.7 Million in Federal Funding for Vaccine Equity Initiative

BOSTON– Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the timeline for all remaining residents to be eligible for a vaccine. The Administration also announced the weekly distribution of vaccine doses statewide for providers and a new $24.7 million investment in the Administration’s Vaccine Equity Initiative.

Vaccine Eligibility Timeline

Governor Baker today announced the dates that all remaining residents and certain worker groups will be eligible for a vaccine.

The Commonwealth’s detailed timeline adheres to the original timeline for the three phases announced in December. All residents can preregister to book an appointment at a mass vaccination site at mass.gov/COVIDVaccine. Appointments will be offered based on eligibility and available appointments nearby. It is expected that more sites will come online as part of the preregistration process in April.

Timeline for remaining groups:

The full timeline is available at mass.gov/COVIDVaccinePhases.

The Administration has received assurances from the federal government that an increased vaccine supply will be available to states soon. Depending on supply, it could take weeks for people to be notified that an appointment is available at a mass vaccination site.        

Dose Update

The Administration provided the weekly update for doses allocated from the federal government.

This week, the state is receiving a modest increase in supply of first doses, approximately 170,000. This includes an unexpected 8,000 doses of J&J vaccine.

In total, the Commonwealth will receive 316,000 first and second doses as part of the state allocation. These figures do not include doses provided through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program or to Federally Qualified Health Centers.

This week, first doses and second dose state allocations (total doses), were distributed among providers as follows:

  • Mass vaccination locations: 101,890
  • Health systems and health care providers (excluding CHCs): 99,230
  • Community Health Centers: 27,450
  • Regional Collaboratives and Local Boards of Health: 59,580
  • Regional Collaboratives: 40,370
  • Local Boards of Health: 19,210
  • Retail pharmacies (non-CVS)
  • State allocation: 8,490
  • Mobile Clinics supporting long-term care facilities, congregate care, affordable/low-income senior housing and homebound individuals: 19,180

Weekly allocations are subject to change based on federal availability, demand from providers, and obligations to meet second doses. Providers have 10 days to use their doses and must meet specific performance thresholds.

Federal Doses:

In addition to the state allocation, the federal government distributes vaccines to CVS Health sites as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership as well as to certain Massachusetts federally qualified community health centers. These quantities fluctuate on a weekly basis and are not counted as part of the state’s weekly allocation.

This week, 106,440 first and second doses have been allocated to the retail pharmacy program and 9,500 doses have been allocated to the federally qualified health centers.

Individuals looking to book appointments across any of these providers should visit mass.gov/COVIDvaccine to learn more.

Vaccine Equity Initiative

The Administration also announced the release of $27.4 million in federal funds to increase trust, vaccine acceptance and administration rates as part of the Administration’s Vaccine Equity Initiative and to meet the needs of priority populations. Recognizing equity as a critical component of the state’s vaccine distribution plan, the Department of Public Health (DPH) is working closely with 20 hardest hit communities in Massachusetts as they identify their specific community needs, further building on existing support.

These federal funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) build upon current and past efforts supporting vaccination in these communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and includes partnerships with municipalities, local boards of health, community- and faith-based organizations, community health centers and others to reduce barriers to vaccination. These funds also will provide direct vaccine administration to populations that are not effectively reached through existing vaccine supply channels.

These federal funds include: 

  • $10.6 million to provide direct assistance with vaccine access, including appointment registration assistance, transportation to vaccination clinics, mobility assistance, medical interpretation, and other supports. These services will be delivered through contracted community-based organizations (CBOs), community health centers (CHCs), and behavioral health providers.
  • $5.1 million to invest in community health centers through the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers to expand vaccination capacity at community health centers, including Community Health Worker Ambassadors.
  • $4.7 million to support municipalities and local boards of health through direct funding of the 20 equity municipalities for coordination and support for vaccine clinics and acceptance.
  • $4 million to help tailor community outreach and education through direct funding of local community-based and faith-based organizations in the 20 equity municipalities.
  • $3 million for direct vaccine administration in community settings by funding qualified organizations to directly administer vaccination to groups not effectively reached by other mechanisms.

These activities will build on DPH-supported initiatives already in progress, such as outreach and collaboration with community and faith-based organizations, increased connections and investment in Community Health Centers, and grassroots neighborhood outreach by teams of trained staff and residents led by Archipelago Strategies Group (ASG), a minority-owned business, and Health Care For All (HCFA).

Other activities already underway include the DPH COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassador Program, which has assisted with dozens of local meetings to answer questions about vaccine, wide dissemination and amplification of the state’s “Trust the Facts. Get the Vax.” multilingual public awareness campaign, and the DPH Community Liaisons who are meeting weekly with representatives from the communities to identify and lift barriers to vaccine access and support community-based solutions.

The Administration’s Vaccine Equity Initiative focuses on 20 cities and towns with the greatest COVID-19 case burden, taking into account social determinants of health and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). These communities are Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Framingham, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Randolph, Revere, Springfield, and Worcester.

COVID Relief Fund

In an effort to provide direct and essential support to Brewster residents whose health or well-being have been most immediately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, the Town has established a COVID Relief Fund. The Fund focuses on providing financial support to help residents meet their basic needs.  Applicants need to have lived in Brewster for 3 months and meet federal standards for assistance and may apply for up to $1,000 for assistance with housing, utilities bills, medical bills, child care including summer programs, and other basic needs. Requests for financial assistance from eligible residents will be voted on by the COVID Relief Fund Committee on a regular basis. Payments will be made directly to the appropriate vendor.  All information is kept confidential.  For more information please contact Town staff at covidrelieffund@brewster-ma.gov   Applications available here

We encourage residents and businesses to share information about the fund with neighbors and employees who may need help.  The COVID Relief Fund; neighbors helping neighbors.

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Preregistration System for Mass Vaccination Locations to Launch Friday, Updates on Dose Distribution in the Commonwealth & Designated Vaccine Clinic Days for K-12 Educators, Staff & Child Care Workers

BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced a new preregistration signup tool will be available for the state’s 7 mass vaccination sites starting Friday, March 12. The new system will make it easier to request and book an appointment at a mass vaccination site at a nearby location when they are available. More sites will be added to the preregistration system in the coming weeks. When preregistration launches on Friday, it will replace the current booking platforms for mass vaccination sites for online booking. The COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line will be available to help residents without internet access or with difficulty using the internet with the preregistration process.

The Administration also announced the weekly distribution of vaccine doses statewide for different providers, reminding residents that there are 170 public vaccination sites statewide in addition to health systems that are offering appointments to their patients.

More information on vaccine sites can be found at: vaxfinder.mass.gov

The Administration also announced four dedicated educator days at mass vaccination sites and updates on vaccine distribution channels.

Preregistration System

Partnering with the Google Cloud Team, the Administration will launch a preregistration system for mass vaccination sites only starting Friday, March 12. This tool will be available at mass.gov/COVIDvaccine.

Preregistration will allow eligible residents to book an appointment at one of the state’s 7 mass vaccination sites.

Read more: Baker-Polito Administration Announces Preregistration System for Mass Vaccination Locations to...