Lifeguards Told To Keep Quiet On Coronavirus Results: Patch PM

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FALMOUTH, MA — It's Wednesday, July 29. Here's what Patch has been covering on Cape Cod, the islands and across Massachusetts today.

At least eight Falmouth lifeguards have tested positive for the coronavirus, and officials are concerned supervisors may have told lifeguards to keep their test results under wraps.

Town officials last weekend became aware that at least one lifeguard tested positive for the virus, Town Manager Julian Suso said. The lifeguards contracted COVID-19 after attending a party.

Following the positive tests, the Cape Cod Times obtained text messages between a beach supervisor and a lifeguard who contracted COVID-19. According to the texts, the supervisor asked the lifeguard not to tell anyone about their test results.

Read more here.

Also on Cape Cod and the Islands today:

Former Cape Real Estate Attorney, Wife Face Fraud Charges

A former real estate attorney and his wife were indicted Tuesday in federal court after prosecutors said the couple was involved with several mortgage fraud schemes.

Barry Plunkett Jr., 60, and Nancy Plunkett, 55, both of Hyannis Port, were charged with five counts of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Barry Plunkett Jr. was also charged with one count of tax evasion.

Prosecutors said the Cape Cod couple used mortgage fraud schemes to scam customers and lenders out of millions of dollars.

Dog That Had Been Seen Abused Missing In Edgartown

A dog whose owner was accused of abusing him on Saturday was reported missing in Edgartown on Monday after being placed with a third party.

Edgartown police said Max's owner was charged with abusing the dog after the Martha's Vineyard Times reported witnesses said the Rhode Island man "continuously kicked the dog in the side."

Police said an officer saw the man roughly yanking the dog's leash on Upper Main Street and that it appeared the dog was deprived of water on a very hot day.

Jet Blue Flights To New York City Return To Barnstable Airport

Jet Blue flights to New York City's John F. Kennendy International Airport will return to the Barnstable Municipal Airport Saturday.

The flights are nonstop and will return with restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, airport officials said.

"We are thrilled with the return of JetBlue," said Katie Servis, the airport manager. "This route furthers our mission to provide convenient air service for people traveling to and from the economic center of Cape Cod, Hyannis, and provides fast and easy travel for residents, visitors and business travelers."

Other top stories

Coronavirus Cancels 2020 Topsfield Fair

The Topsfield Fair has been canceled, marking just the third time in the fair's history it will not be held.

The Essex Agricultural Society, the fair's organizer, said Wednesday it was canceling the 2020 Topsfield Fair over coronavirus concerns. The decision comes a month after organizers said they were still moving forward with plans for the 2020 fair, even as other fairs scheduled for this fall announce plans to cancel.

The Topsfield Fair, which drew 38,000 people during last year's opening weekend, had been scheduled to run October 2 through 12. The fair was not held in 1943, 1944 and 1945 during World War II. It was also canceled in 1918 during the Spanish flu pandemic.

Do Not Plant These Weird Seeds, MA Agriculture Officials Warn

If you get a weird package of seeds in the mail that you did not order, do not plant them.
People across the U.S. — including in Chelmsford and Duxbury — have received "unsolicited seed mailings" in recent weeks. State agriculture officials don't know what plants may sprout from the seeds, but they are worried that the plants could hurt the local ecosystem.
"While the exact types of seeds in the packages are unknown, the seeds are thought to be invasive plant species, and not believed to be harmful to humans or pets but could pose a significant risk to agriculture or the environment," the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources said in a statement Tuesday.

RI To Stay In Phase 3, Social Gatherings Limited To 15

Rhode Island will remain in phase three of reopening for an additional month, Gov. Gina Raimondo announced Wednesday. Following an uptick in cases of coronavirus connected to backyard parties and other social events, the social gathering limit will be lowered from 25 people to 15.

Shark Sighting Reported Off White Horse Beach In Plymouth

White Horse Beach was closed early Wednesday afternoon after a report of a 10-foot shark sighting.

Police Close Investigation Of Black Lives Matter Banner Vandalism

Marblehead police said the Clerk-Magistrate of Lynn District Court will determine if there is probable cause for a criminal complaint.

Man Arrested, Charged With Lowell Murder

Authorities charged found and charged a man in connection with the murder of a 23-year-old Boston woman who was shot in a car last month.
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This article originally appeared on the Falmouth Patch