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PROVINCETOWN (CBS) — There are 132 coronavirus cases linked to a cluster in Provincetown from the July 4th holiday week, health officials said at a special meeting on Monday held in response to the outbreak. Most are reported to be in vaccinated people who experienced mild symptoms.
Dr. Catherine Brown from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health said DPH has alerted other state jurisdictions to the cluster and is working with the Centers For Disease Control to actively find out-of-state cases.
The numbers show 89 are Massachusetts residents, and 43 are from out of state. Ninety-three percent are male patients, with the median age being 35.
Thirty-two businesses in Provincetown have cases associated with the cluster.
“I think this last week and since July 4th is just a reminder to us that yes, COVID is still here,” Barnstable County Chief Health Officer Sean O’Brien said.
NEW: 132 covid cases are linked to the the cluster in Provincetown from the 4th of July week, reports Barnstable County health official Vaira Harik at a special meeting this morning. Health officials say most were vaccinated individuals with mild symptoms. #WBZ
— Louisa Moller (@LouisaMoller) July 19, 2021
Vaira Harik with Barnstable County Human Services said the exact number of people who were vaccinated is under investigation. But she said the amount of cases in vaccinated people is “significant” and “more than the 5% efficacy rate of the vaccine.”
Officials emphasized that the vaccines have shown to be effective due to the mildness of the symptoms. Provincetown is extending a mobile COVID testing van’s stay until Friday, and vaccines are also being offered at the van.
The Provincetown Selectboard discussed drafting a public health advisory at the meeting that would recommend vaccine verification at venues, advise masking indoors where social distancing can’t be achieved and require masks for all unvaccinated people – including kids under 12 – in public, indoors and outdoors.
Town Manager Alex Morse acknowledged that the popular LGBTQ+ summer destination was densely packed for the holiday.
“We know that we just had two of the busiest weeks out of the summer,” Morse said. “We’re hopeful that with behavior changes and with time we’ll see some stability, but we just can’t predict that yet.”
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