Health Department Covid-19 Case Update 11-20-2020

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 Town of Harwich
Board of Health
732 Main Street Harwich, MA 02645
508-430-7509 – Fax 508-430-7531
November 20, 2020
Weekly COVID-19 Update


The current total cases of COVID-19 for the Town of Harwich is 188. This is an increase of 6 cases over the last 7 days.  We are currently following 7 active cases. A total of 6961 tests have been performed for Harwich residents, 737 within the last 14 days. Our percent positivity rate has slightly decreased to 1.49 % and our average daily incidence rate is higher than last week at 5.7.  

covid case by exposure

Household transmission remains the highest source of illness.  People most likely pick up the virus at gathering or at a healthcare facility and bring it home where it spreads to other members of the household. Over the last weeks 2 food establishments, 1 dental office and 1 Physical Therapist office have reported positive cases, as well as two schools with positive students.  

The guidelines for quarantine have been amended for those who are close contacts of a known positive case and have been asymptomatic themselves.  Instead of 14 days of quarantine, these individuals have the option to be tested at day 8 and if negative, can be released from quarantine at day 10.  This change is based on scientific evidence that the infectious and incubation periods for COVID-19 are in a narrower window than previously thought.  

New Hampshire and Maine have been added to the high risk states and travel to or from these areas are subject to the Travel Order: PCR test within 72 hours of return or quarantine for 14 days.

New testing initiatives have been announced by the Governor’s office for colleges and universities.  The initiative urges institutions to provide PCR testing before returning home and upon arrival back at school.

Barnstable County Health has announced that they have received funding to support community testing sites.  They anticipate once site to be on the Fairgrounds property in Falmouth to be ready in early December.  Two other sites are planned in other locations to be determined.  These testing sites will be free and no doctor referral will be needed.

We have posted Thanksgiving tips for a COVID-Safe Holiday on our website and social media. Health officials are urging everyone to abide by the travel order and the gatherings order for this coming holiday.  We have seen evidence of community spread here in Harwich and across the nation, please keep each other safe by wearing a mask and limiting your festivities to those in your “bubble”.  

Have a safe Thanksgiving, 

Meggan Eldredge

Health Director

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