Coronavirus | WCAI


As WCAI covers impacts of the pandemic across our region, you'll find all our stories gathered here on this page. For helpful links and resources during the pandemic, check this page.

And be sure to visit our community voices page, where we've gathered stories and essays about the pandemic from people in their own words.

Updated case numbers: 

Lourdes Abreu Torres

For Alex Davies, a 23-year-old from New Jersey, working for AmeriCorps Cape Cod has given her a sense of purpose. 

“We’re here helping out the community,” she said. “We're the people that go out and help with trail maintenance. We clean up stuff. We cut down the trees. … We help when there’s an emergency on the Cape with taking calls and whatnot.”

Marcy Smith

Some houses of worship held their first in-person services this week after the state lifted the COVID-19 closure order.

Kate Feiffer

We’re all in this together. Yeah yeah yeah. I know all about it.


In the middle of our zoom writers’ group meeting the other night, my friend, Suzanne, told us she and her fourteen year old daughter were walking on the beach when two people passed, easily socially distanced, and said, “Where are your masks?” Suzanne said, “We don’t need them. We’re outside.” The woman said, “No, you’re supposed to be wearing masks at all times, government orders.”  And Suzanne, said, “You know what you're doing? You’re shaming me. And I don’t appreciate it.” The woman said shaming was not her intention. Saving lives was. 

Victoria Baessa, first time parent, talks about how it is like to raise a new born during the pandemic.

S Junker

Local businesses react as Governor Baker announces Phase 1 of his plan to reopen the state’s economy. And voters head to the polls, wearing face masks and carrying their own pens, to elect a new state senator.

We have those stories and more on the local news roundup, as WCAI News Director Steve Junker speaks with some of the region’s leading journalists.

My Island Is a COVID-19 Social Media Petri Dish

May 22, 2020
Liz Lerner

The specter of Covid-19 hovers over the island of Martha’s Vineyard like a swarm of gulls at a Menemsha clambake. My island home, remote but not enough to ward off fear and infection has all the ingredients needed for a sociological study on social media civility in times of stress.

CC-BY-SA-3.0/Matt H. Wade at Wikipedia (

The unofficial start of summer—Memorial Day weekend—is right around the corner, and beaches across Massachusetts will open Monday of the holiday weekend.  Governor Charlie Baker issued guidelines for cities and towns this week that include having beachgoers wear masks when not social distancing, and placing groups 12 feet apart on the sand.

Liz Lerner

Joseph Allen, an assistant professor of exposure assessment science at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, spent an hour this week answering reporters’ questions about how to stay coronavirus-safe while you enjoy the summer with family and friends. WCAI has boiled it down to a few essentials to answer questions that may be on your mind.

Alecia Orsini

As businesses and religious organizations react to Gov. Charlie Baker’s Phase 1 reopening plan, the Sandwich Chamber of Commerce is calling on the state to reconsider the decision not to include in-store shopping.

Eve Zuckoff

Despite ongoing concerns about the coronavirus, voters from Falmouth to Kingston took part in a special election Tuesday to fill an open state Senate seat. 

Voices of Our Region During COVID-19

May 19, 2020

We put the call out to hear from you. We want to know how you're doing, what you're doing and how COVID-19 is impacting your life.

Send a voice memo to to share your story. Or call our Listener Line: 508 548-9600, x5.


Dunia Furtado talks about what’s is like to be an expectant mother in the middle of a pandemic.  

Liz Lerner

No more MSNBC. No more Fareed Zarakia. No more Fox News (just to see another perspective). No more numbers going up exponentially, no more mounting deaths. I could not take the pain.

Across New England, tensions already existed between year-round residents and "part-timers."

Now, as coronavirus pushes more people from crowded cities to rural second homes, it's raised the question: "Whose town is this anyway?"

Liz Lerner

Nearly two months after Massachusetts curtailed business to slow the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Charlie Baker plans to announce the first phase of reopening on Monday. But for many laid-off workers, the shock of unemployment is far from over.

Jennette Barnes

Hundreds of Chatham residents and business owners gathered on a video conference call Monday to brainstorm about how to keep the town safe and operating during the summer season.

Alecia Orsini

Cape Cod Healthcare announced Thursday that it's furloughing about 600 workers. Meanwhile, a new task force is looking at how to safely re-open the Cape and Islands for the summer. And restaurants in Provincetown, doing takeout business, are trying to get a handle on how this is all supposed to work.

Those stories and more on today's program, as WCAI News Director Steve Junker discusses local news with some of the region’s leading journalists.

Disinfected Dreams

May 8, 2020
Liz Lerner

Even my dreams have gone down the drain. I’m not talking about my dreams for the future—they evaporated mid-March, when the Coronavirus took hold and we were all ordered to “shelter in place.” I mean my sleeping dreams. 

Alecia Orsini

Cape Cod Healthcare furloughed more than 600 employees Thursday in an effort to heal financial wounds caused by the pandemic.

CEO Mike Lauf said he could no longer keep paying everyone in the face of mounting losses.

Falmouth Village Association

As restaurants plan ways to safely reopen for table service, some Cape and Islands communities are considering expanded outdoor seating.

Among the communities investigating the idea is Falmouth, where people have proposed closing a section of Main Street to vehicles to allow for European-style seating at outdoor tables.

Liz Lerner

Plymouth Selectmen are hoping to postpone the special senate election to replace a seat left vacant by Vinny DeMacedo. The board sent a letter with the request to state lawmakers this week, saying that the voting is not a good idea amid the pandemic.

Jennette Barnes

Hours at the drive-through test site for COVID-19 at Cape Cod Community College have been reduced from 48 to 30 each week.

Alecia Orsini

Many health and government officials say that knowing the extent of the coronavirus outbreak is key to reopening the economy, and the best way to know the extent of the problem is through testing.

To require masks or not—that is the question for towns and transportation providers across the region (Provincetown says, ‘Yes!’); Martha’s Vineyard isn’t sure what it wants to tell seasonal residents; and an upside to all this? How about a comeback for drive-in theaters.

Those stories and more on today's program, as WCAI News Director Steve Junker discusses local news with some of the region’s leading journalists.