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Published on November 24, 2020

Hospital leadership urges caution when planning holiday celebrations

COVID-19 Holiday Safety

To our fellow residents on Cape Cod,

This has been a challenging year for all of us. As clinical leaders across our state’s healthcare system, we know that getting though this pandemic has required an incredible amount of diligence and personal sacrifice. We also know these sacrifices have saved lives and kept our hospitals and provider organizations from being overwhelmed.

Now, with cases surging again and the holidays around the corner, we ask that you continue to remain diligent in following public health guidance. Now is the time to reenergize our focus on the little things: wearing a mask, practicing strict social distancing, frequent hand washing.

And – please – think carefully as you plan celebrations for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays.

The holidays are usually prime occasions for large gatherings of friends and family. But in a year when large gatherings pose an immediate risk to public health, we ask that you celebrate in a different way this year.

Keep your in-person celebrations small and remember that the state has limited indoor gatherings to 10 or fewer people. Set up your meal tables to allow for distance between each person and avoid sharing drinks, food or utensils. Celebrate outside if at all possible. And be especially mindful of seniors or those with chronic conditions who may be present.

Let creativity play a role. Set up virtual check-ins, organize drive-by celebrations, and find ways to embrace the extraordinary circumstances of these times.

We know these adjustments are not easy. But they are essential in keeping our communities healthy and allowing our hospitals and healthcare organizations to keep up with demand.

Throughout the pandemic, we have often been asked how people can support our caregivers as they combat COVID-19 with compassion and bravery. Wearing a mask and avoiding large gatherings is the greatest gift you can give. Adhering to these simple public health measures does more than just stop the spread; it is highest form of appreciation for our healthcare professionals.

The past eight months have given us plenty to be thankful for this holiday season. 2020 has proven that the people of Massachusetts are there for each other, especially in the most uncertain of times. And we in the healthcare community are inspired every day by the support you’ve given to our organizations and our caregivers.

Thank you for helping us ensure that this year’s holidays are both safe and joyous.

  • William Agel, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Cape Cod Hospital and Cape Cod Healthcare
  • Donald Guadagnoli, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Falmouth Hospital
  • Judith Quinn, MSN, RN-BC, Vice President of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer, Cape Cod Hospital
  • Cynthia Marlin, MS-MHA, RN, ONC, Vice President of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer, Falmouth Hospital