Nantucket health officials advising all residents & visitors to wear masks indoors, in public

NANTUCKET, Mass. — Nantucket heath officials are now advising everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks while indoors and in public to curb the spike in COVID cases locally.

“As a result of increasing cases across Cape & Islands, @ackhealthdept advises all residents and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, to use masks while indoors and at public locations when physical distance is not possible,” health officials in the popular destination town said in a statement on Wednesday evening.

“The increased virulence of the Delta variant, & its high ability to infect even those vaccinated in some cases, means that masking and distancing are strongly recommended at this time,” town health officials said. “Prolonged exposure, indoors and at high concentrations, is likely the cause of vaccinated individuals becoming infected.”

“The Delta variant has also shown breakthrough ability against natural immunity and can reinfect those who have already had COVID. Please keep your safety, and the safety of those around you, in mind,” town health officials said.

[ Provincetown COVID-19 cluster grows as town manager now reports 256 cases ]

The decision by Nantucket officials to advise mask-wearing by everyone on the island came as Provincetown, another popular destination spot on Cape Cod, is grappling with a surge in COVID cases.

Provincetown’s town manager announced Wednesday that a cluster of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in that town has climbed to 256 cases as of Tuesday. Those cases are an increase from the 132 initially reported Monday.

Of the 256 confirmed cases associated with the Provincetown cluster, 190 are among Massachusetts residents, 109 of whom live in Barnstable County.

Between Friday and Monday, the state Department of Public Health reported more than 1,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases. On Tuesday, the agency reported another 457.

The seven-day average positivity rate now stands at 1.3%.

The state lifted its mask mandate on May 29.

Lt. Gov. Karen Polito said Wednesday that for now, there are no plans to reinstate a statewide mask mandate.

“At this point we are totally focused on the vaccination program and getting more people vaccinated here in our Commonwealth,” Polito said.

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