Coronavirus | WCAI

Coronavirus

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: 

massgeneral.org

Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston has by far the most COVID-19 patients of any hospital in the state – 447 cases as of Tuesday. WCAI spoke recently with a nursing student from Cape Cod who is caring for COVID patients at Mass General, and she shared how difficult and isolating the experience has been for both patients and staff.

Liz Lerner

A new online map shows coronavirus cases across the Cape by zip code; Governor Baker visits the field hospital at Joint Base Cape Cod; and the news that the Oak Bluffs ferry pier needs repairs sparks fresh anger at Steamship Authority management.  

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.

nih.gov

Scientists around the world are racing to find a vaccine for COVID-19, but the development, testing and manufacturing process takes time. Dr. Bethanie Wilkinson, a Falmouth resident and biochemist, has first-hand experience developing a vaccine. She developed Flublok, a flu vaccine widely available in the U.S.

Courtesy of Nelson Andrews Jr.

The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe said it's the first tribe in the nation to receive direct federal assistance for pandemic response.

As a result, all members of federally recognized tribes are eligible for COVID-19 testing at a drive-thru site in Mashpee at no cost and regardless of symptoms. 

https://www.barnstablecountyhealth.org/case-numbers-and-figures

With the new interactive tool, users can click on a town to see the number of new cases over a 24-hour period. Areas are color-coded by level of risk, and some towns are broken down by zip code.

The first wave of detainees with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been released from a Bristol county facility amid fears of a COVID-19 outbreak, according to the Bristol County Sheriff's Office.

Alecia Orsini

Many businesses are finding ways to adapt to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic. In Provincetown, owners of “The Canteen” Rob Anderson and Loic Rossignon have converted the restaurant space to serve take out but also act as a grocery store on Commercial street.

Rob takes WCAI on a tour of the restaurant to show how they have converted their space.

spauldingrehab.org

Most hospitals around the state stopped elective surgeries and other procedures weeks ago as part of the protocol to stem the coronavirus spread.

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Sandwich has also had to change the way it accepts and treats patients who need physical therapy, and is now accepting other patients with non-COVID illnesses who need a hospital bed in which to recover.

Lourdes Abreu Torres

Alexandra Davies of Pocasset is among those who've tested positive for COVID-19. The 23-year-old Americorps member spoke with WCAI's Eve Zuckoff recently about her experience with symptoms and treatment at Falmouth Hospital. Davies began by saying she started showing symptoms around March 15th, when she was showing a friend some exercises.

Alecia Orsini

With no date on the horizon for recreational travel to resume, local restaurants and lodging establishments are trying to adapt and plan for the future.

Wendy Northcross of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce said the road could be tougher than for retail.

Liz Lerner

Keeping children happy and learning during the stay-at-home order is challenging for anyone, but for grandparents raising their grandchildren, it comes with a special set of worries.

Hilde Maingay, of Falmouth, is well-known and loved for the Easter celebration she throws each year for her friends, family, and neighbors. This year's party would have been her 49th straight year hosting. 

“For all of us, really, it’s the best party of the year,” she said.  “There’s no gifts involved; people bring great music; we’ve never been rained out, which is totally amazing.” 

Liz Lerner

Chuck Burridge has been driving a cab for 14 years. He’s often at the ferry terminal in Woods Hole looking for rides, and lately, business has been quiet. 

“I’m just here in Woods Hole, watching the boats, construction,” he said. “And then watching a lot of TV on my computer." 

Alecia Orsini

A coronavirus field hospital is coming to Joint Base Cape Cod, and additional care centers are opening in former nursing homes in Falmouth, Brewster and New Bedford. Meanwhile, local school districts have started up required remote learning for students, and coronavirus cases slow on the islands.

Those stories and more on today's program, as WCAI News Director Steve Junker rounds up the local response to the coronavirus with some of the region’s leading journalists.

Alecia Orsini

The 2 trillion dollar stimulus package Congress passed late last month includes nearly $350 billion in help for small businesses. Lawmakers say the goal is to get the money into the hands of business owners as quickly as possible, and competition for the funds could be fierce.

BarnstableCountyHealth.org

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds on Cape Cod, the Barnstable County health director has played a unique role in getting out information.

Wikicommons / bit.ly/2JM7FPU

Each year on the first night of Passover, nearly 30 family members gather in Susan Wasser’s Hyannis home. 

 

“My favorite part—most people will say it’s the food—but I think it’s the singing, especially… after a few glasses of wine [it] gets a little fun,” she said. “And I think it’s just being all together, doing the same thing every year.” 

Liz Lerner

Massachusetts' chief medical examiner is creating a backup morgue in a sports arena at Fitchburg State University, but so far, there are no plans for a similar facility on Cape Cod.

Cape Cod Healthcare

A nurse at Cape Cod Hospital says staff have enough supplies to care for COVID-19 patients, but they’re anxious about running out, and about bringing the virus home to their families.

The Forgetting, A Special Edition: Dementia In The Age of Coronavirus

Recorded March 27, 2020

The world is getting a sense of the isolation, frustration and fear that Alzheimer patients and the people who care for them live with every day. David and Greg discuss how everyone’s lives have changed during this pandemic in this Special Edition of The Forgetting. Their hope is that people can develop a better understanding and empathy for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia from this shared experience.

Bob Seay

A local radio DJ in his 70s has died of COVID-19.

 

John Perrone, of Provincetown, succumbed to the virus over the weekend at Cape Cod Hospital, according to WOMR, a local community radio station, based on information from Perrone’s cousin.

 

The Navy-veteran-turned-volunteer-DJ is remembered for his love of Motown and soul music, which he played on WOMR Tuesday nights for the last 20 years. 

Liz Lerner

Organizations that serve people with disabilities are working hard to help them adapt to social distancing and protect them from COVID-19.

Sarah Mizes-Tan / WCAI

As the world around us reels, 57-year-old Susan McLaughlin bakes cookies. 

“Cookies, breads,” she said. “I will experiment because in sober living, even without the pandemic, these girls will eat anything.”

McLaughlin’s been staying in a sober living house in Mashpee for almost two years after alcohol nearly took her life. 

ice.gov

A nurse at the Bristol County correctional complex in Dartmouth has tested positive for COVID-19. She worked with immigration detainees, who sleep in a communal bunkroom.

stock photo / unsplash

Twelve COVID-19 patients on Cape Cod are so ill they have been placed in intensive care.

 

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