• Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce to co-host Retail Marijuana Forum

  • Letter to the Community from Nantucket Cottage Hospital

    The summer has arrived on Nantucket. As President and CEO of Nantucket Cottage Hospital, I want to
    take this opportunity to praise the shared sacrifices the community has made since March to keep the
    coronavirus at bay, but also urge everyone on the island to stay vigilant in the weeks and months ahead.
    On Monday, June 22, Nantucket Cottage Hospital reported the first new confirmed case of COVID-19 on
    the island in more than month. I think this should be a reminder that as much as we want to be done
    with this virus, it is not yet done with us.

    Now is the riskiest time for Nantucket, as we have not had a surge or significant caseload as other parts
    of the country have, and the island population is increasing. After the months of stay-at-home orders
    and restrictions on activity, we all want to enjoy the summer, socialize, and have our local businesses
    recover. We can do all of this, but on behalf of my team at Nantucket Cottage Hospital, I urge you to do
    it safely and responsibly. We should expect that there will be more cases this summer, but there are
    things we all can do to prevent them from spreading more widely in the community.

    Governor Charlie Baker has ordered everyone in Massachusetts over the age of two to wear a face
    covering or mask in public places where maintaining proper physical distancing measures to prevent the
    spread of COVID-19 are not possible. This is a sensible order, backed-up by scientific studies, and
    something we all can do.

    As Massachusetts reopens its economy and the island comes back to life, it is the everyday preventative
    actions that will become even more important. You’ve heard me say it before, but it needs to be said
    again: wear face coverings in public, practice physical distancing, wash your hands, disinfect much-used
    surfaces and stay home when you feel sick. These are our tools. Please use them.
    The CDC advises that up to 35 percent of patients with COVID-19 will experience no symptoms
    whatsoever but can still transmit the disease to others. Those who do develop symptoms can transmit
    the disease to others before they begin to feel sick. That makes these everyday preventative actions
    imperative as we move into summer on Nantucket. These are the simple things we all can do to
    continue blunting the spread of the coronavirus on Nantucket, and quite frankly, it shows that you care
    for your fellow islanders. It’s about respect for one another and taking personal responsibility. No one
    wants to wear a mask, but it’s a simple, easy and effective way to protect our vulnerable community at
    the riskiest time of year.

    For now at least, it seems that Nantucket has emerged from the initial wave of coronavirus as a public
    health success story. Let’s keep it that way. At the hospital, we will do our part to set the example, ramp
    up testing and conduct contact tracing. Out in the community, you can help us avoid a potential surge of
    COVID-19 cases while still enjoying your summer. Please wear a mask, keep your distance, and wash
    your hands frequently. Support our local businesses. Show respect and take personal responsibility. We
    can do this.

    Gary Shaw, FACHE
    President & CEO