The latest cluster of COVID-19 cases in Chatham should not affect the reopening of the Monomoy Regional Schools, according to State Representative Sarah Peake.
Peake, who serves on the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force, said there is no indication of community spread and no known connection to the Monomoy schools.
“As we have managed through this pandemic, we will let science and data drive decisions, not rumor and innuendo,” she said.
A cluster of seven COVID-19 cases was recently identified among employees of the Chatham Squire, but officials said there was no evidence of customers catching the virus by eating there.
A server at the Chatham Bars Inn also tested positive.
Robert Duncanson, director of the Chatham Natural Resources Department, which oversees public health, said the Chatham Squire employees may have attended a business-related event together.
“That may be where it originated, but we have no definitive proof,” he said. “We’ve been in contact with our neighboring community where that event was held, and they haven’t reported any cases.”
Pinpointing where cases originate is sometimes difficult, he said.
The state’s latest COVID-19 risk map shows Chatham in red, meaning the town has more than eight cases per 100,000 residents.
Some local officials say the math doesn’t take into account the higher summer population.
“This is in a town of 6,200 folks, residents, and of course our summer occupancy is much higher,” said Shareen Davis, chair of the Chatham Select Board. “We do report that somewhere up to 30,000 people do visit Chatham and will rent here.”
To date, Chatham is the only town on the Cape and Islands to be designated in red. On the South Coast, only New Bedford has reached the red level.