EASTHAM — Two town residents tested positive for Covid-19 after a house party in Chatham that resulted in at least 13 positive cases, according to Health Agent Jane Crowley.
Crowley, along with Joanna Buffington of the board of health, provided a Covid-19 update to the select board on Aug. 3.
The Cape Cod Times reported on July 28 that Chatham officials said the number of positive cases associated with the July 12 house party had reached 13. Crowley told the Eastham Select Board that contact tracing resulted in testing that found the two Eastham positives. Crowley said those two people are currently self-quarantining.
Eastham has now reported a total of 14 confirmed Covid-19 cases since March, while Crowley said additional residents have had a positive antibody test for Covid-19. She said there are only four active cases in town now, and no restaurant workers have tested positive. There have been no deaths in Eastham related to the virus.
The select board also discussed the state’s new travel order. The order requires all travelers, except those from lower-risk states, entering Massachusetts to quarantine for 14 days and fill out the Massachusetts Travel Form. Lower-risk states include Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, and Hawaii.
“To be completely honest, I don’t know how this can be enforced,” Crowley said. “We will do our very best to deal with individual issues as they come to our attention.”
The travel form will be generated online and requires visitors to provide their name, phone number, address where they are quarantining, and the dates they will be quarantining. Crowley said the form first goes to the Mass. Dept. of Public Health, then gets funneled through the Community Tracing Collaborative.
Through another process, information is then sent to individual communities to notify them that a traveler is quarantining in their community, Crowley said.
The only problem is the system has not been developed yet.
“It’s not built yet,” Crowley said. “They expected it to be finished by Aug. 6. I see it as self-certification or self-compliance.”
Once the travel order form is created, the question is how many people will actually fill it out.
“I’m not quite sure how this is going to play out,” Crowley said. “I think we just need to stay the course. We need to encourage people to be responsible and respectful.”
Buffington said the majority of visitors are probably coming from lower-risk states, which is a plus.
“There are a lot of people that come in from those states,” she said.
Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe said she thinks people will realize they have to cancel their trips to the Outer Cape if they’re coming from anywhere other than a lower-risk state.
Buffington and Crowley both said that rental agencies and hotels aren’t having problems filling space.
“We’re hearing that any cancellation on a rental that happens is immediately filled,” Buffington said. “People coming from other states and the agencies that manage these rentals and home owners need to know what the rules are.”
Select board chair Jamie Rivers said local residents have to stay away from partying, sharing cups, and especially sharing marijuana joints.
The select board didn’t make any rules but encouraged residents to continue to wear masks, social distance, and follow state guidelines.