Masked Stop & Shop Customers

Mask-wearing customers exit Stop & Shop.

Sandwich’s health director is strongly urging residents to resume wearing face mask indoors in public places now that the the town’s COVID-19 infection rate has surpassed 5 percent, which is currently the highest infection rate of all towns within Barnstable County.

Sandwich Health Director David Mason said previously if the town’s infection rate surpassed 3 percent, a recommendation would be issued, and encouraged, for the town. Sandwich’s infections rate currently stands at 5.38 percent.

Countywide, the average infection rate is 3.76 percent.

“There are spikes across the board,” Mr. Mason said of Sandwich. “The numbers are higher now than they were this time last year.”

At least 40 percent of the town’s cases are school-aged children, said Superintendent Pamela Gould in a school committee meeting on September 8.

A gathering of 90 people last week resulted in a cluster of cases, Mr. Mason noted.

On September 5, a 47-year-old Forestdale man died at Cape Cod Hospital due to complications from pneumonia caused by COVID-19. His vaccination status is unknown.

“This is the first death in a while that is COVID related,” Mr. Mason said, referring to Sandwich.

As of Monday, September 13, there were 15 new cases of the virus, bringing the total to 57 in Sandwich and 21 Capewide hospitalizations, all connected to the Delta variant.

“Mask wearing is strongly recommended for everybody,” Mr. Mason said. “We advise everyone to take precautions based on the level of the infection rate.”

Mr. Mason and the members of the board of health and the health department are unsure why the infection rate is the highest in Sandwich. Surrounding towns, though high, have not surpassed the 5 percent mark. Countywide, the average infection rate is 3.76 percent.

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