Coronavirus Cases Continue To Rise On Cape Cod

Despite high vaccination rates, coronavirus cases continue to rise on Cape Cod. WBZ-TV's Bill Shields reports.

Video Transcript

DAVID WADE: --top story tonight here at 5:30, the troubling rise of coronavirus cases on the Cape. Barnstable County, which you see in dark blue there, has the highest number of new cases in the last two weeks across the state. But surprisingly, the Cape also has the highest number of people who are fully vaccinated at 23%. The most vaccines and the most cases on the Cape doesn't entirely make sense. Good evening to you. I'm David Wade.

PAULA EVAN: And I'm Paula Evan. So we sent our Bill Shields out to get some answers from the experts. Here's Bill's story.

- I'll take you right here.

- Yeah, come on up.

BILL SHIELDS: At Dennis Yarmouth High School today, they opened up the gym to anyone who wanted a COVID test. Health officials and residents alike are concerned about the spike in cases on Cape Cod.

BARBARA BENNETT: Well, I had heard that the numbers of COVID cases are increasing on Cape Cod.

BILL SHIELDS: Because its population skews heavily over 65, the Cape started getting a boost in vaccines two weeks ago and they were used. Still, the numbers in Barnstable and Yarmouth are leading the state.

JULIAN CYR: As to why we're seeing an outbreak here, I think it's a real cautionary tale that COVID-19 remains prevalent in our communities.

BILL SHIELDS: Senator Cyr is now pushing to get essential workers vaccinated, and he's got company.

KRISTIN DWYER: Maybe open up our vaccination pool to the larger group of people, not just your 60-plus or 50-plus with multiple comorbidities.

BILL SHIELDS: Some think the spike in cases here represents COVID fatigue, people no longer using known safety measures. At the same time, that P1 variant has established a foothold on the Mid Cape and is keeping health officials awake at night.

BRUCE MURPHY: And we're also seeing these two new variant strains come in, the UK and the P1 variant.

BILL SHIELDS: That's got to be concerning to you.

BRUCE MURPHY: They're coming in, and I think it's all at the same time now that we're seeing a quick spike up.

BILL SHIELDS: Health officials here on the Mid Cape acknowledge there is, once again, community spread of COVID. There is also the existence of the P1 variant. What they fear next is an explosion of that variant. In Yarmouth, I'm Bill Shields, WBZ News.