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Reopening Cape Cod: The Cape and Islands face unique challenges

Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro, as pictured in August 2019.
Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro, as pictured in August 2019.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

As Cape Cod and the islands prepare for what state Senator Julian Cyr said will be a “muted” summer season in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new regional task force is hoping to provide consistent guidance for both seasonal and year-round residents, workers, and businesses.

The task force, led by the region’s legislative delegation, the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, and Barnstable County officials, plans to work with Governor Charlie Baker’s reopening advisory board and develop its own set of recommendations that reflect the challenges of both a geographically isolated region and a summer tourism hot spot.

The seasonal nature of the Cape Cod economy and the influx of summer residents and visitors between Memorial Day and Labor Day make it crucial for officials to work quickly to provide clear messages around what a reopening will look like, Cyr and other task force members said Thursday on a conference call with reporters.

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Many local businesses make most of their income during the summer, leaving them “deeply concerned about reduced capacity and future viability,” Cyr said.

For people involved in the seasonal economy, “your opportunity to earn a living doesn’t really come around again for nine months, so that raises a whole host of considerations and needs,” said Cyr, a Truro Democrat.