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
Assistance Will be Provided to Massachusetts Businessesand Non-Profits Impacted by COVID-19
FRAMINGHAM – The Baker-Polito Administration announced today that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will offer low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Massachusetts small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available following a request received from Governor Charlie Baker on March 17, 2020.
The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in the entire state of Massachusetts; and the contiguous counties in neighboring states.
Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years, and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email@example.com for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 18, 2020.
On March 16,, 2020, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a $10 Million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund, and the administration remains in ongoing discussions across state government and with federal partners to determine what resources can be made available to small businesses and non-profits as they contend with the negative effects of this public health emergency.
The administration will continue to update the public on further developments and individuals are encouraged to consult both the Department of Public Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites for the most up to date information.
The latest information and guidance regarding COVID-19 is always available at mass.gov/COVID19.
On Wednesday March 18, the Brewster Select Board and Board of Health approved letters directed to both Governor Baker and President Trump imploring the state and federal government to impose strict shelter in place measures immediately to help mitigate the continued spread of the coronavirus.
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.
Update on 2020 Census Field Operations
Based on continuing assessments of guidance from Federal, State and local health authorities, the Census Bureau is suspending 2020 Census field operations for two additional weeks to April 15, 2020. The Census Bureau is taking this step to help protect the health and safety of the American public, Census Bureau employees, and everyone who will go through the hiring process for temporary census taker positions.
The Census Bureau continues to evaluate all 2020 Census field operations, and will communicate any further updates as soon as possible.
The 2020 Census is open for self-response online at 2020Census.gov, over the phone by calling the number provided in your invitation, and by paper through the mail.
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 Building Department is still operating while Town Hall is closed to the public. Permit applications are being accepted, inspections are being completed, and we are available for inquiries via phone #508-896-3701 EXT 1125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You may obtain blank permit applications at the “Mail Box” located at Town Hall. Please note that ALL permits are also available online in PDF format
Permits dropped off in the Mail Box located at the Town Hall entrance will be processed as timely as possible. You are encouraged to mail permit applications to the Building Department – Town of Brewster, 2198 Main Street, Brewster, MA 02631.
Once issued, we will be mailing back all pre-paid permits rather than calling for pick up. We will call you to arrange payment for permits with a fee due.
Mail Box Procedure:
If you chose to drop off your permit application in the Mail Box, please make sure that you leave all plans / applications / other documentation in the BUILDING DEPARTMENT SLOT. Do not place payments in this slot. Place all checks in the Building / Health Department Lock Box located on the side of the box. Please make sure all applications and documents/plans have the correct address and contact information on them.
Payments left in the Building / Health Department Lock Box:
Please be sure that you identify the Job Site Address on the check. For Building Permits, a minimum of $25.00 is due for Residential and $50.00 for Commercial jobs. Please make all checks payable to TOWN OF BREWSTER.
The Let’s Talk Coronavirus! Seminar and update held March 12, 2020 by the Brewster Health Department is available for streaming.
Over the past week, the Town of Brewster took a number of actions to address risks to the public while continuing to provide essential services to our residents. These include:
All Town Offices Closed to the Public. The Select Board and Board of Health voted on Monday March 16 to close all town offices to the public until further notice. These closures apply to Town Hall, Brewster Ladies Library, Council on Aging, Recreation Department, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Public Works, and Water Department. Exterior drop boxes are being installed at the main entrance to Town Hall for the public to use to drop off documents while Town Hall is closed. More information to follow shortly.
The Brewster Recycling Center to Reopen on Thursday March 19. The Recycling Center will remain open, operating on its standard Thursday through Monday schedule from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM, until further notice. At this time, the Recycling Center will only process trash and recycling materials – no fee items such as yard waste, electronics, construction debris, scrap metal, mattresses, etc. We urge all residents to be respectful of their neighbors and town employees, and use appropriate social distancing while disposing of their trash and recycling.
Continued Provision of Essential Services. The Police and Fire Departments are fully operational. Limited Inspectional services (Fire, Health, Building, Electrical, Plumbing/Gas) and Town Clerk services (birth & death certificates and marriage licenses) are available. Please inquire with those departments directly with any questions.
All Non-regulatory Board/Committee Meetings Cancelled. The Board of Health, Select Board, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Conservation Commission, and Old Kings Highway Historic District Commission will continue to hold essential, regulatory meetings at this time. These proceedings will be broadcast live (audio only) on Channel 18 and http://livestream.brewster-ma.gov or available for replay at http://tv.brewster-ma.gov. All members of these regulatory boards and committees and their support staff will be participating remotely in these meetings. Members of the public can provide written comment in advance. Specific email addresses will be provided for each board and committee in advance of these meetings. Our procedures are consistent with Governor Baker’s March 12, 2020 Executive Order temporarily modifying the State’s Open Meeting Law.
Potential Changes to Date of Town Meeting and/or Local Election. While discussions regarding potential postponement of these upcoming activities have not yet begun, Governor Baker has introduced legislation that would allow municipalities to delay Town Meeting if necessary. Town officials will evaluate the situation in the coming weeks.
Brewster Coronavirus Task Force Continues to Meet. Town staff and officials remain in constant communication to provide a coordinated local response to this pandemic and to adapt departmental operations accordingly. Our latest actions will be re-evaluated on an ongoing basis. The Board of Health may take additional measures as necessary.
Please Contact Staff With Questions. Residents are encouraged to call or email staff (https://www.brewster-ma.gov/brewster-directory). While our offices are closed to the public and we are minimizing our physical presence at town facilities, staff are regularly checking voicemails and emails, and are available to respond as needed. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.
Sign Up For Town Updates. A reminder that, if you wish to receive daily email updates about the latest local developments and all other town activities, you may sign up here: https://www.brewster-ma.gov/email-newsletter-subscription You may also sign up here for emergency phone notifications from the Town: https://www.smart911.com/smart911/registration/registrationLanding.action?cdnExternalPath=
Thank You for Your Cooperation. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and patience as we work together during this unprecedented public health emergency.
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.