CAPE COD, Mass. (State House News Service) — When the Cape Cod COVID-19 Response Task Force launched in early May 2020, the state was reporting upwards of 1,000 new cases of the coronavirus daily and the statewide positive test rate was in the teens and 20s.
On Thursday, during what the task force planned to be its last weekly media call, Sean O'Brien of the Barnstable County Department of Health and the Environment said that the incidence of COVID-19 is now starting "to dwindle down" both on Cape Cod and across Massachusetts.
Just three people are hospitalized for COVID-19 at Cape Cod and Falmouth hospitals, O'Brien said, and on Wednesday the Department of Public Health reported a total of 100 new cases and a seven-day average positive test rate of 0.69 percent.
"Yes, there's still concern, COVID is still out there, but we're starting to see things wind down when it comes to numbers in the commonwealth," O'Brien said.
The task force, too, is winding down, after 13 months of collaboration among the region's legislative delegation, business groups, health care organizations, and local governments.
Launched to develop a consistent strategy for businesses reopening, its focus has shifted at various points to providing testing opportunities, arranging vaccination options, addressing spread of new variants, and other issues.
Sen. Julian Cyr, the task force's public information officer, said he expects the panel will still address the media in the future, though not regularly. Describing housing availability and affordability as one of the Cape's most pressing post-pandemic issues, he forecast a "deep dive" with experts at some point in the coming weeks.
"The COVID-19 response on Cape Cod was a collaborative effort where people left their ego at the door, where everyone chipped in to get the job done," Cyr said. "Indeed, it's been a real master class in teamwork."