Masks Mandated in Provincetown
Provincetown enacted a new mask order after the number of positive COVID-19 cases rose over the weekend to 551.
The Board of Health and the Select Board met Sunday for an emergency meeting and reinstated the mandate for inside private businesses and public buildings.
Officials also gave the Town Manager the power to change capacity limits at businesses depending on COVID-19 metrics.
Board of Health chairperson Steve Katsurinis says the order is a simple way to provide protection during the remainder of the summer holiday.
"Holidays are going to create outbreaks. And we saw that last year with Thanksgiving and Christmas," Katsurinis said. "And of course we're a somewhat transient community, and people come and they go."
The majority of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Provincetown since July 1st have been fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, the more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 has been confirmed.
Provincetown Town Manager Alex Morse said that Sunday's meeting that 53 specimens from the recent outbreak were sent for further testing, and all came back positive for the highly contagious variant.
Morse told town officials that Provincetown has entered a new stage of the pandemic.
"COVID, unfortunately, I think it's depressing for many of us, isn't going away anytime soon," Morse said. "I think Provincetown is experiencing what other towns will be facing, earlier."
As of Thursday, the town has by far the highest test positivity rate in the state. The percentage of people testing positive in Provincetown is a little higher than 12 percent. The state average is less than 1 percent.