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Provincetown Covid-19 Outbreak Changed the CDC Mask Guidelines

The Fourth of July is traditionally a great celebration in Provincetown, Massachusetts, with a long list of parties and celebrations that draw thousands of tourists from all over the country to the tip of Cape Cod. Last week, Provincetown, which has a population of about 3,000 year-round residents, was propelled into the national spotlight after it was the focus of a research that convinced the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to revise its face mask rules.

The CDC said on Friday that 469 Covid-19 cases had been found in Massachusetts residents who had visited Barnstable County. Approximately three-quarters of those cases were among fully vaccinated people, implying that inoculated people can also spread the virus, particularly the deadly Delta form that has fueled the country’s recent outbreak. According to the CDC investigation, the outbreak resulted in five hospitalizations, four of which were fully vaccinated patients, and no deaths.

To avoid future spread of the Covid-19 variety, the CDC modified its mask guidance last week, recommending that vaccinated persons wear masks indoors when they’re in locations with “significant” or “high” Covid-19 transmission. To prevent further spread, Provincetown officials have reinstated a mask requirement, and fully vaccinated residents and business owners say they’re doing their best to increase safety precautions and urge for more vaccines.

CNN’s Alisyn Camerota said, “But I was educated quickly, as all of us were here, getting vaccinated does not give you the ability to engage in high-risk activities or otherwise assume that you don’t have to take any precautions.” The cluster, they add, served as a reminder that, while the vaccination is quite efficient at preventing serious illness and death, it is most effective when used in conjunction with other safeguards.

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