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After Breakthrough Cases, Provincetown Ramps Up COVID-19 Testing

Tourists walk along Commercial Street in Provincetown in July 2020. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Tourists walk along Commercial Street in Provincetown in July 2020. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Provincetown is expanding COVID-19 testing amid an uptick in cases.

Daily testing is available Sunday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Community Center parking lot.

The town recently reported about two dozen infections involving vaccinated people. State health officials have been tracking "breakthrough" cases in the Commonwealth overall, finding they have occurred in just a fraction of a percent of vaccinated residents.

Provincetown is encouraging people to get tested if they are experiencing symptoms or if they've been in close contact with someone who's tested positive for COVID-19.

Town Manager Alex Morse told WBUR cases increased after the Fourth of July holiday brought its usual surge of summer tourists and gatherings.

"Even though folks are testing positive ... the symptoms are very mild. The positivity rate is in line with communities of our size when we think about the magnitude of people here right now," he said.

Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccinations will also be available at the community center site beginning Monday.

The Provincetown Select Board and its Board of Health are scheduled to meet Sunday to review the latest information and discuss possible actions to take.

"We just want to reassure the public, reassure residents and visitors, that they can have a good time and be safe here in Provincetown," Morse said. "As always, we encourage people to make decisions that feel right for them."

Health experts say vaccines are effective against the increasingly pervasive delta variant of the coronavirus. But some say fully vaccinated people should at least consider wearing a mask in public.

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