There have been nine new confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Barnstable County over the past week according to data released by the state on Wednesday, August 19.
Additionally, there have been six new deaths reported due to the disease in the county in the past week. This brings the total number of people who have died from the disease on Cape Cod to 164 people, which includes those who have had probable cases of the illness.
On the Upper Cape there have been a total of 168 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Bourne, 241 cases in Falmouth, 76 cases in Mashpee, and 104 cases in Sandwich.
The state's data dashboard indicates that there have been a total of 1,579 confirmed cases in the county since the outbreak began in March. This count no longer includes probable cases of the disease.
Based on numbers provided by Vaira Harik, deputy director of the Barnstable County Department of Human Services, there have been 238 probable cases of the disease identified on Cape Cod as of Sunday, August 16.
There are currently no COVID-19 patients being treated in either of the hospitals on Cape Cod.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced on Wednesday, August 19 that students returning to school will be required to be vaccinated against influenza by the end of the calendar year.
The requirement applies to children aged 6 months and up who are attending childcare, preschool, kindergarten through 12th grade, and colleges and universities within the state. At the college level, the mandate applies to people under the age of 30 who are working toward their graduate or undergraduate degrees as well as all students in health-related fields.
Students will be required to be inoculated by December 31.
The mandate will apply to students who are learning remotely, as well as those who are attending school in person with an exception made for college students who will be attending classes entirely remotely, with no plans to visit campus for any reason throughout the year.
This decision is meant to reduce flu-related respiratory illnesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At a news conference on Monday, August 17, Governor Charles D. Baker Jr. said that of the more than 300 school districts that have presented their school reopening plans, about 70 percent have chosen to return to in-person schooling, at least part of the time. The governor said that for most counties in the state, returning in person is appropriate given the current public health data.