“We say it’s the official start of summer,” said Christopher Roberts, owner of a puzzle and games store in Provincetown. “July 4th is brimming … and it’s really like that ever since.”
“I was personally under the impression that it would be difficult to contract[Covid-19],” said Ken Horgan, owner of the Provincetown hotel, after receiving the vaccine.
“But since we’ve all been here I’ve been trained quickly, getting vaccinated doesn’t give you the ability to engage in high-risk activities or assume you don’t need to take any precautions,” she told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota. Friday.
To curb further spread, local leaders have restored a mask requirement for Provincetown, and fully-vaccinated residents and business owners say they are doing their part to double down on safety measures again and push for more vaccines.
“We’ve been told you’re almost invincible if you get vaccinated, and I think we assumed that wrongly,” city manager Alex Morse told CNN’s John Berman on Friday.
‘A petri dish for the country’
Debbie Nadolney, director and curator of the AMP Gallery in Provincetown, said she felt mask requirements and other safety measures were lifted too soon as she, her partner and most of the people she knew in town were vaccinated. He said he continued to wear his mask mostly after the vaccination and encouraged others to do so while he was in the gallery.
“It felt like common sense to me to move on,” he said. “Only half the country… has been vaccinated, you know, we haven’t reached 70% or 80% vaccination rate in the country yet. So why are we celebrating?”
Nadolney said he’s now mandating the wearing of masks in the gallery, and he hopes the town’s authority isn’t lifted anytime soon. He said eliminating mask requirements was a “mistake” in the first place, and he hopes other parts of the country learn from the town’s experience and demand masks in addition to pushing for more vaccines.
“Provincetown is a very small place, but frankly, we’ve become a petri dish for the country,” he said.
Roberts, the owner of the puzzle shop, said that he enforced the mask requirement and that if customers did not cover their faces, employees would offer them a mask. Roberts said that since he knows that vaccinated people can spread the virus, he is very careful not to get infected, as his 7-year-old son is still not suitable for the Covid-19 vaccine.
‘Going in the right direction’
Hotel owner Horgan said the outbreak was both a sobering and eye-opening experience. Local leaders and business owners “come together” to implement their own mask and vaccination requirements, he said. His hotel, like others in town, now wants proof of vaccination.
“If you’re planning to travel and haven’t been vaccinated, please don’t come to Provincetown,” Horgan said. “We take our health really seriously and for our local businesses to survive, we need to stay operational. To stay operational, we need to stay healthy.”
According to town manager Morse, there are currently 103 active cases in the town.
The latest figures, in addition to the new mask mandate, mean the town is “going in the right direction,” Morse told CNN on Friday.
“What we get from here is that this Delta variant is highly contagious, more contagious, more likely to have a larger infection, but you probably won’t be hospitalized and you definitely won’t die,” he said. aforementioned.
“The delta variant is incredibly dangerous for unvaccinated individuals, and while we have a short-term mask requirement, our long-term way out of this is really vaccination.”
69-year-old Dr. Jane Aronson was among those fully vaccinated and infected in Provincetown. He said he developed symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough, and low-grade fever. But the vaccine saved his life, he said.
“That’s exactly what happened,” he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Friday. “I immediately felt like, ‘I’m scared, but I know this vaccine will work.'”