Friday , September 24 2021

A Covid-19 outbreak in Provincetown helped motivate the CDC’s mask guideline change. Here’s what residents learned and how they reacted



“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.”

The study, published Friday by the CDC, found 469 cases of Covid-19 among Massachusetts residents who traveled to Barnstable County, including Provincetown, between July 3 and July 17. public meetings,” the CDC said.
Roughly three-quarters of these cases were among fully vaccinated people; This finding suggests that people who have been vaccinated can also spread the virus, including the dangerous Delta variant that has fueled the recent surge in the country. The CDC study said there were five hospitalizations associated with the outbreak, four of which were fully vaccinated and no deaths were reported.
The agency updated its mask guidance last week and recommended that vaccinated people wear masks indoors when in areas with “significant” or “high” Covid-19 transmission to prevent further spread of this variant.
People march on Commercial Street in Provincetown on Tuesday, July 20.

“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.

They say the set is a wake-up call, although the vaccine is very effective at preventing serious illness and death, it works best when used in conjunction with other measures.

“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.

According to CDC data, approximately 99.999% of fully vaccinated Americans have not had a fatal Covid-19 breakthrough case.

“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?”

According to CDC data, approximately 57.5% of the US population received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, and approximately 49.5% are fully vaccinated. In Barnstable County, about 76% of people have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to the latest state data.
Nadolney said the outbreak did not surprise him, given the influx of people the town saw in July and the widespread lack of mask requirements. Local leaders held an emergency meeting last week and issued a closed mask order for Provincetown. This requirement applies to all indoor restaurants, theater or performance venues, bars, dance floors, lodgings, fitness centers, retail and personal service stores, offices and other public facilities.
Some vaccinated Americans have lost patience with those who refuse the vaccine as Covid-19 cases increase and authorities return

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.”

In an update Friday, the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment announced that 934 cases of Covid-19, of which 29 – 560 are Massachusetts residents and 231 are in Provincetown, are associated with the Provincetown cluster.
Many Americans were looking forward to a carefree summer.  But Covid measures are returning to our reality

According to town manager Morse, there are currently 103 active cases in the town.

Morse said in a recent Facebook update that the local test positivity rate has dropped from a peak of 15% on July 15 to 4.6% on July 29 since the start of the cluster.

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.'”


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