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: 

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.

Massachusetts is still practicing extreme social distancing measures, but many businesses, including on the Cape and Islands, are planning for what life will be like when the economy starts to re-open.

Barnstable County Government

Barnstable County health director Sean O’Brien is thanking the many volunteers who are helping Cape Cod respond to the pandemic.

Elspeth Hay

With many restaurants shuttered and others limited to take-out, we’re eating and cooking at home more than ever before. Plus, there’s panic buying. For some local food sectors, this has meant an increase in business, for others, a steep decline. But across the board, it means meant change. Eric Glasgow runs Grey Barn Farm on Martha’s Vineyard, which includes a general farm stand and a specialty cheese operation that also wholesales to grocery stores. He explains how supply chain disruptions are happening.

Courtesy Jack Clancy

Many people have been turning to locally sourced food during the coronavirus outbreak, as a way to avoid grocery stores.


But there is one exception: shellfish.


WCAI’s Sam Houghton reports that oysters and quahogs face a particular challenge when it comes to reaching customers.


Starting Monday, small business owners around the country can apply for the latest infusion of federal money meant to help small businesses keep their workers on the payroll for as long as possible during this pandemic. 

Listening Deliberately

Apr 27, 2020
Sam Broun

There are fewer cars on the road these days, due to shelter-in-place advisories and business closings. The traffic is much calmer. Rob Rosenthal of Falmouth has noticed the quiet... and the sounds. 

Alecia Orsini

Over the past seven weeks, Sindi Harvey of West Yarmouth has been trying to fill her days gardening, watching news, and walking her two dogs.

“I am alone here, except for my other little heartbeats, my animals,” she said.

Daan Stevens

The leader of a national association of certified nursing assistants is warning that CNAs in nursing homes don’t have enough protective gear and are struggling to find the emotional support they need during the pandemic.

Elsa Partan

Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. 

Marches, rallies, and events have been canceled or moved online for social distancing purposes, but local activists are encouraging people to grab a bag, don some gloves, and get to work cleaning up the environment.  

Krys Alex

Arts and culture are a staple of the summer season on the Cape and Islands, and winter sustenance for year-rounders from New Bedford to Provincetown. With shows postponed because of the pandemic, institutions are adapting — but some are seeing staggering losses.