Starting Monday, June 1, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health began releasing COVID-19 data that include "probable" cases of the disease. Probable cases include people who were not tested for the virus but exhibited COVID-19 symptoms and either now test positive for COVID antibodies or had probable or confirmed contact with a person who had a confirmed positive test.
Between Sunday, May 31, and Monday, a total of 111 new cases were reported on Cape Cod. It was not immediately clear how many, if any, are the result of adding in probable cases dating back to the beginning of the outbreak.
The total number of confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Barnstable County now stands at 1,424.
Since Friday there have been two new deaths reported on the Cape due to the disease, bringing the total to 118.
There are currently eight people being treated for the disease in county hospitals; two are in intensive care.
Across the state there are now more than 100,000 cases and more than 7,000 deaths as a result of the disease. There are currently 1,747 people hospitalized with the illness, 404 of whom are in intensive care.
At a news conference on Monday, Governor Charles D. Baker Jr. said that the order has officially been signed to allow businesses and organizations in the second phase of the reopening plan to prepare their businesses for operation. He said that the health data relative to COVID-19 in the state will be monitored closely between now and Saturday, June 6, and if numbers such as newly reported cases, deaths, and hospitalizations continue to decline, those businesses will be able to open as early as Monday, June 8.
Included in the second phase, retail shops and libraries would allow customers inside of the building to browse and shop; nail salons, day spas, massage therapists, and tattoo parlors could open, as well as outdoor recreation such as miniature golf, batting cages and go-karts.
As the Cape heads into the summer season, restaurants will also be allowed to offer dine-in services and hotels will be open for tourists.
Summer day camps will also be able to operate in the second phase.
Gov. Baker said there will be guidelines released on childcare services as well. Childcare for non-essential workers is going to be available again under the second phase.
Each industry is going to have a series of guidelines that need to be followed in order to operate safely.
When asked if he was concerned that the protests in Boston sparked by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minnesota police officer could result in a spike in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Baker said that it is too early to tell.
He said that people in Massachusetts have worked hard to follow the public health guidelines to get to the decline seen recently.
While he said that he would never take away someone's right to speak out, he hopes that people still take the virus seriously and wear masks and socially distance as much as possible while protesting. He said that most of the people he saw on Sunday were keeping to the guidelines as best as they could.