DPH: Cluster of COVID-19 cases linked to house party in Chatham

DPH: Cluster of COVID-19 cases linked to house party in Chatham

CHATHAM, Mass. — State health officials have identified a cluster of coronavirus cases stemming from a house party in Chatham.

They say anywhere from 30 to 50 people were at this party, and some of them work in local restaurants.

“We should all be taking this extremely serious,” said Shareen Davis, chair of the Board of Selectmen. “I’m very upset to hear that this has happened.”

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Chatham town leaders say it’s alarming to learn of a cluster of COVID-19 cases stemming from a house party in town on July 12th.

Health and Natural Resources director Robert Duncanson says so far there’s been ten positive cases linked to this party, but only one of them is a Chatham resident.

“At the beginning of the summer season, those of us in the public health arena were concerned about exactly this kind of thing because of the influx of seasonal residents, because of the influx of visitors and whatnot,” said Duncanson.

He says overall Chatham has done a great job controlling the virus with only three active cases right now.

The town requires everyone to wear masks in heavily trafficked areas like Main Street downtown and at some of its popular beaches.

“But when it comes to private individuals, we have to understand that we live in a society that allows freedom of speech and action, so I would just encourage people to think about others if they feel invincible,” said Davis.

Duncanson says the bigger concern now is that some of the people who just tested positive from this party work in nearby restaurants.

“Since yesterday we have learned of a couple of restaurants in Chatham that may be tied to this event or they may not be tied to it, but they’ve taken precautions, they’ve closed down for periods of time required,” said Duncanson.

Some restaurants have even gone back to takeout only while they make sure none of their staff is carrying the virus.

The health department has notified all nearby restaurants about this cluster of cases to make sure this spike doesn’t continue to spread.

“Hopefully this is a blip on the radar and doesn’t trend for the Cape for the rest of the summer,” said Duncanson. “But unfortunately, only time will tell.”

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