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Nantucket Seeing Surge in COVID Cases

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Nantucket is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases, following the Fourth of July weekend.

More than 50 people have tested positive for the virus this week at the Nantucket Cottage Hospital, one of several locations on the island that offers testing.

Hospital CEO Gary Shaw says Nantucket swelled with visitors during the Fourth of July weekend, like Provincetown. The island typically grows to about 50,000 people during the summer, but he says that anecdotally he heard that grew to 100,000 this summer.

The increased population is likely leading to a surge coronavirus cases as a result.

Shaw says that about two-thirds of people testing positive on Nantucket have been vaccinated. But he says that those who are vaccinated, are showing milder symptoms, akin to a cold.

"For those unvaccinated, we've seen some pretty sick people. And we've had to helicopter some off island for a high level of care," Shaw said, during an interview with CAI. "The vaccine makes a big difference. If you haven't gotten a vaccine, I'd say run to get one."

The Delta variant has not been confirmed on Nantucket, but is likely the reason for the increase in cases. However, four cases of the Delta variant have been confirmed on Martha's Vineyard.

Shaw says that people need to wear masks in public again, wash their hands frequently, and socially distance.

Meanwhile, the hospital has expanded COVID testing in response to growing demand and the surge in cases.

Testing will be offered in the Anderson Building, across the parking lot from the main
Nantucket Cottage Hospital building.

To schedule an appointment, members of the public exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, or who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, should call (508) 825-1000 and request COVID-19 testing.

Shaw asks that people that are not showing symptoms to wait 5 days before seeking a test.