Updated 6 am
The town just a ferry ride away has shown a “significant increase” in COVID-19 cases, according to a press release posted by Falmouth officials Wednesday afternoon.
Falmouth now has 57 confirmed cases, according to the release signed by town manager Julian Suso and health agent Scott McGann.
“This significant increase in positive cases from that reported yesterday is attributable to including multiple individuals who reside in the same household,” the release states. “Proper isolation and quarantine protocols, including contact notifications, are being followed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Falmouth Health Department, and the Visiting Nurses Association.”
The release also indicates with more testing the “number of positives have and will continue to increase.”
Similar to Martha’s Vineyard, Falmouth has seen a large influx of seasonal residents coming to town to ride out the virus in their seasonal homes. On Wednesday, the town also closed its beach parking lots in an effort to deter people from congregating on them.
Earlier in the day, Cape Cod Healthcare announced that beginning Monday, April 6, Falmouth Hospital maternity and pediatric inpatient services will be moved to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis. “This transition is in response to the forecasted need for critical care due to COVID-19,” the release states.
Those areas of the hospital will be converted into areas capable of treating patients needing ICU level care or additional COVID-19 patients, according to the release.
“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cape Cod Healthcare had been monitoring declines in patient volume and challenges in physician coverage in the Falmouth Hospital obstetric and pediatric units,” Mike Lauf, president and CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare, said in the release. “Should the COVID-19 models play out, there will be an increased demand for inpatient beds for the critically ill and those battling COVID-19 on Cape Cod.”
Barnstable County has a total of 255 cases, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website.
“There is community spread occurring and it will continue to occur as the test positive cases do not include the asymptomatic or mildly ill individuals,” the release states. “All can help slow the spread of this virus by continuing to commit to social distancing and practicing good personal hygiene, like regular handwashing.”
Updated to include release from Falmouth Hospital. -ed.