60 People Exposed to Coronavirus at Cape Cod House Party

Because several attendees were restaurant workers, a few Chatham establishments have temporarily closed out of precaution

Chatham, Cape Cod
Photo: John Greim/LightRocket via Getty

At least nine people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) after attending a 60-person house party on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, earlier this month.

Dr. Robert Duncanson, Director of Chatham’s Department of Public Health, said on Tuesday that social distancing and mask usage were not enforced at the party, CBS Boston and Mass Live reported.

A number of Chatham restaurant industry workers attended the party, and at least one has tested positive for the virus. As a result, several of the town's restaurants have temporarily closed.

Tracy Shields, owner of Hangar B in Chatham, told CBS Boston that she halted indoor dining services at her restaurant for two weeks after learning that the friend of one of her employees attended the party.

That employee, along with two others, are self-isolating, which means Shields has lost one quarter of her staff during the busiest time of the season.

“It seemed like the safest thing to do was — to anybody that had maybe been interacting with this group of young people — to just isolate and not come in for two weeks,” Shields told CBS Boston.

Chatham, Cape Cod
Chatham, Cape Cod. Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty

Kream N’Kone in Chatham announced in a Facebook post on Wednesday night it was also closing because one employee tested positive for COVID-19.

"We will be closing to thoroughly clean and disinfect the restaurant and all of the remaining employees will get tested," the eatery said. "When the health department tells us it is safe to reopen we will do so."

Cape Cod is currently experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases. On Friday, Harwich Port officials announced five new infections, with seven people in isolation, CBS Boston reported.

In an emergency order issued on Tuesday, the town enforced a mask order that is set to take action on Thursday.

“For everybody’s well-being, it’s not difficult for everyone to wear a mask, wash your hands, [and] social distance,” vacationer Dee Townes told CBS Boston.

As of Thursday, Massachusetts has at least 114,320 confirmed cases of COVID-19, while at least 8,486 people have died from coronavirus-related illnesses, according to a New York Times database.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

Related Articles