The number of new cases of COVID-19 on Cape Cod has risen to 969 and one more person has died from the illness as of Tuesday, May 5.
The increase represents a total of eight new diagnosed cases. There have now been 48 deaths related to the disease in Barnstable County.
"All in all we're starting to see this level off and maybe dip a little bit," said Sean O'Brien, director of the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment.
Additionally, the number of patients who are currently hospitalized with the virus has decreased, he said.
There are 18 patients at Cape Cod Hospital and five at Falmouth Hospital, with five patients in intensive care units between the two facilities. Last week there were a combined 29 patients at the hospitals; eight patients were in intensive care.
Since the start of the outbreak, Mr. O'Brien said, about 2,500 cars have gone through the testing site at Cape Cod Community College. The hours at the site have changed to Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 4 PM, he said.
There are some decreases across the state, as well. There are currently 3,542 people hospitalized, compared to 3,875 last week. The number of people who are currently in intensive care is down by 91 patients to 914.
The total number of positives in the state has passed 70,000 as of Tuesday, May 5, and there have been 4,212 deaths related to the disease. Of those deaths, 2,520 have been residents of long-term care facilities.
The most up-to-date information in terms of the total number of cases in each town will be released by the state on Wednesday, May 6.
In a press conference on Tuesday, May 5, Governor Charles D. Baker Jr. said that the number of new cases and hospitalizations are trending down, which is what he has been looking for in terms of getting ready to reopen state businesses. He said, however, that the trend would need to continue for two weeks before any further action will be taken. A task force is currently working on developing a phased reopening plan that will be presented to the governor by Monday, May 18.
The governor's order mandating that residents over 2 years old wear face coverings when social distancing is impossible goes into effect on Wednesday, May 6. The order states that anyone over 2 without a medical exemption is to wear a face covering while in grocery stores and pharmacies, and on public transportation including buses and taxi cabs. The order is effective until it is either lifted or the state of emergency is canceled.
Face coverings can include cloth masks, scarves, and disposable masks. He urged the public to not use medical-grade masks as they are needed by healthcare professionals.
Governor Baker has said on multiple occasions that wearing a face covering serves the dual purpose of protecting the individual wearing it from others as well as protecting others from the individual.