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Provincetown Issues Mask Advisory After COVID Cases Rise

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

A popular tourist town on Cape Cod issued a new mask-wearing advisory on Monday after more than 100 people tested positive following the Fourth of July holiday.

The public health advisory from Provincetown officials encourages residents and visitors to the town, a popular LGBTQ+ summer destination, to resume wearing masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. It also urges crowded venues and other businesses where social distancing isn't possible to verify that patrons are vaccinated.

The advisory was approved during an emergency meeting Monday with the town’s select board and board of health.

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Dr. Catherine Brown, of the state Department of Public Health, said the state has alerted other jurisdictions about the cluster of cases tied to Provincetown.

Local officials said the majority are Massachusetts residents but more than 40 are from out of state. They said more 90% of those infected were men and that their median age is 35. Officials said they're also investigating how many of those infected were already vaccinated.

“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.

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