Several Cape Cod towns, including Falmouth, have had higher rates of COVID-19 this week compared to last week based on data released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Wednesday, September 9.

The state releases a color-coded map each Wednesday that identifies how each of the 351 communities are handling the virus. Grey signifies that there are fewer than five cases currently in a given community, green represents an incidence rate of four or fewer cases per 100,000 residents, yellow indicates between four and eight cases per 100,000 residents, and red is representative of more than eight cases per 100,000 residents.

This week, Chatham is red; Barnstable is yellow; and Harwich, Yarmouth and Falmouth are green.

Last week, the only town that was highlighted as a color other than grey was Barnstable. Both Barnstable and Chatham currently have rates that are higher than the state average of 4.6 with rates of 5.1 and 8.5 respectively.

The increase in cases in Chatham has been linked, in part, to an outbreak among employees at the Chatham Squire. At least seven employees have tested positive, though to date no customers have been identified as being infected through contact with the employees.

Since the first case in the county was diagnosed in March, there have been a total of 1,663 confirmed cases of the disease and an additional 239 that the Barnstable County Department of Human Services has identified as being probable cases of the virus. A total of 169 people on Cape Cod have died from the illness.

Upper Cape towns account for about 38 percent of all of the cases that have been diagnosed on Cape Cod.

Bourne has had a total of 173 cases with four positive tests reported in the past two weeks. Bourne has fewer than five active cases of the disease. Falmouth has had a total of 252 total cases with 10 positive tests in the past two weeks and 10 active cases. Mashpee has had 78 cases of the illness with one positive test in the past two weeks and fewer than five active cases. A total of 107 cases have been diagnosed in Sandwich with two new positive tests identified in the past week. Sandwich has fewer than five active cases in town.

Each of the Cape's hospitals is treating one patient for COVID-19, though neither patient is in intensive care.

Across the state over the past two weeks, the average age of someone diagnosed with COVID-19 has been 37 years old, while the average age of someone who has dies has been 80 years old. In the past two weeks, the majority of people who have been infected are in their 20s, and no one under the age of 20 has died of the disease in Massachusetts.

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