Officials in Provincetown on Monday announced a new mask advisory amid a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the town.
A total of 132 people, many of whom were vaccinated, tested positive for the virus after people flocked to the town over the Fourth of July weekend, health officials said.
Eighty-nine cases were among Bay State residents, including 39 people who live in Barnstable County. Officials noted that the remainder of the positive cases are among people who live outside of Massachusetts.
Town manager Alex Morse said nearly all of Provincetown’s 3,000 year-round residents are vaccinated. But, during the first few weeks of July, the number of visitors can swell to 60,000 people.
“COVID-19 is still very much with us,” he said. “When you have tens of thousands of people in a very small densely populated area, transmission is still possible.”
In an effort to curb the spread of the virus, health officials are now advising people to wear masks indoors where social distancing cannot be achieved, regardless of their vaccination status.
All unvaccinated individuals, including children under the age of 12, are required to wear masks both outdoors in crowded areas where social distancing cannot be achieved and in public indoor spaces, per CDC guidelines.
Masks remain mandatory for all individuals on public and private transportation systems.
People are also being advised to use caution when around large crowds in indoor spaces and to avoid handshaking, kissing, hugging, and other forms of close contact that increase the risk of transmission.
Anyone who feels ill should get tested for the virus and stay home, officials said.
At the iconic Lobster Pot restaurant on Commercial Street, business was brisk, even on a cloudy Monday night.
“It seems to me, a lot of people, and I could be wrong, have been traveling here,’ owner Tim McNulty said. “They’re unvaccinated, and we seem to have an outbreak again.”
Some of McNulty’s employees told 7NEWS that they will not feel comfortable again until case numbers fall, and vaccination numbers go up across the country.
“The reality is, everybody needs to get vaccinated. That’s the reality in my opinion,” he said. “We’re all in jeopardy right now.”
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