Another Cape Cod resident is reported to have died as a result of COVID-19, according to data released by the state on Thursday, April 23.
The death toll in Barnstable County is now at 28, which means 10 people on Cape Cod have died due to COVID-19 since last week. The state did not provide any information about the person's age or gender.
After a single-digit rise in cases on Wednesday, April 23, the county saw an additional 30 positive tests the next day, bringing the cumulative total up to 708 since the outbreak began.
Across the state the death toll from COVID-19 stands at 2,360. The average age of those who have died is 82; no one under the age of 20 has died in the state. Nearly 60 percent of all people in the state who have died due to COVID-19 had been hospitalized at some point during their illness; 97.9 percent of those who have died had a known underlying health condition.
Of all those in the state who are currently sick with the virus, 8 percent are hospitalized. Cape Cod Hospital currently is treating 15 COVID-19 patients, with four in intensive care. Falmouth Hospital has 11 patients with the virus; six are in intensive care.
Sean O'Brien, director of the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment, said that on Thursday, April 23, 79 cars went through the test site that is set up at Cape Cod Community College. The site has seen 2,100 cars go through since it opened.
When asked if he felt that businesses would start to open up again on the proposed Monday, May 4, date, Mr. O'Brien said people should be looking at that date as a decision point, not a deadline.
"I would not be surprised to see that May 4 deadline increased," he said, saying that the extension of the school year closure could be an indicator of the direction that the statewide closures are headed.
During a news conference held by Governor Charles D. Baker Jr. on Thursday, April 23, it was mentioned that due to the COVID-19 outbreak, people are not seeking prompt care for other medical issues, such as strokes and appendicitis. This has led to children arriving at emergency rooms with ruptured appendixes and people suffering with stroke symptoms without getting life-saving treatment.
The governor stressed that great care has been taken to ensure that all residents are still able to get the critical care they need for health conditions other than the coronavirus and said that people should still be seeking this care.
Cape Cod Healthcare also issued a public service statement to that effect this week.
"We understand you may be reluctant to go to a medical appointment or think we're too busy," the statement says. "Because of our policies, your chances of contracting the virus during a visit to a doctor or medical facility remain very, very low."
The organization said that anyone who has an emergency or has a chronic condition to manage should still be contacting their doctors.
"Please don't ignore your care," the statement says.
Doing so could have significant long-term implications, the organization said.