HYANNIS, Mass. — “You know it’s just hard everywhere,” said Jim Cash, a Cape Cod resident.
Main Street in Hyannis is a lot like Main streets all over America, complete with an unfortunate few shuddered businesses.
“They’re struggling, as you know there is coffee shop that used to be right there, they closed down,” Cash said.
As the winter chill sets in on the Cape, business owners like Taylor Stump assess the damage like a nor’easter that just blasted through.
“I wish I could sugarcoat this for you, but it’s rough,” Stump said.
As COVID-19 cases rise to the worst numbers yet, the forecast doesn’t look to improve any time soon.
“It’s up and down all the time, I’m literally selling my soul getting my holiday orders. But again, people aren’t gathering. Why do you need a lot of cupcakes or cookies if you are only having two or three people,” Stump said.
One area where some progress is being made for Cape residents is testing; two additional COVID-19 test sites will open next week. One location will be the Barnstable County Fairgrounds in Falmouth, another at the Cape Cod Melody tent in Hyannis.
“It will be a means test, so there will be a sliding scale for the amount people have to pay. It will be significantly reduced than the tests that people pay for at say CVS, [or] other places that are well over $100,” said State Rep. Dylan Fernandes (D-Falmouth).
Rep. Fernandes said if someone cannot afford the test they will not be turned away. An improvement, but, according to Fernandes, still not enough.
“Cape Cod is a testing desert, there is a real severe lack of testing across Cape Cod, and we’ve seen a dramatic uptick in cases here; cases are the highest that they have ever been,” Fernandes said.
Greatly needed for an area that needs to get up to testing speed, an area seeing more long-term residents than usual according to Dennisport resident John Sullivan.
“There are more people down here now. People have decided this a good place to social distance so people who have cottages and only stay for a couple of weeks are now staying all winter; I noticed a lot more lights on when I’m walking,” Sullivan said.
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