By Bill Shields

YARMOUTH (CBS) – At Dennis-Yarmouth High School Monday, health officials turned the gym into a coronavirus testing site. They’re trying to figure out why the Mid Cape has become the state’s COVID-19 hot spot.

Barnstable County has the highest number of new cases in the last two weeks, but also has the highest number of people who are fully vaccinated.

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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.

“As to why we are seeing an outbreak here, I think it’s a real cautionary tale that COVID-19 remains prevalent in our communities,” said State Sen. Julian Cyr.

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Cyr is now pushing to get essential workers vaccinated, and he has company.

“Maybe open up our vaccination pool to the larger group of people, not just your 60 plus or your 50 plus with multiple comorbidities,” said nurse Kristin Dwyer.

Some think the spike in COVID cases represents COVID fatigue, people no longer using known safety measures. At the same time, the P1 variant has established a foothold on the mid-Cape, and it’s keeping health officials awake at night.

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“We’re also seeing these two new variant strains come in, the UK and the P1 variant,” said Yarmouth health agent Bruce Murphy. “They’re coming in and I think it’s all the same time now that we’re seeing a quick spike up.”

Bill Shields