- Click here for an updated story - COVID-19: Cape Cod Cluster Among Vaccinated Led To Mask Shift; CDC Says 'The War Has Changed'
The highly contagious Delta variant has become a major cause of concern in a Cape Cod community following a recent breakout of new COVID-19 infections.
There are now more than 430 active cases of COVID-19 in Provincetown as of Tuesday, July 27, more than triple the cases reported last week, most of which have been linked to the variant.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, genetic sequencing of initial samples associated with the recent COVID-19 cluster in Provincetown tested positive for the Delta variant.
However, health officials said that the total number of cases among vaccinated people in Massachusetts remains low, at 0.1 percent - or 5,166 cases out of over 4.3 million fully vaccinated residents.
The Provincetown Board of Health attributed the new spike in cases to celebrations during the Fourth of July weekend.
Officials said that they are “urging Provincetown’s residents, local businesses, and visitors to take precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status.”
Health officials noted that “the Delta variant is known to be more transmissible than the original COVID-19 virus.
"Individuals infected with the Delta variant tend to have more virus in their respiratory tract than other variants and infected individuals may carry the virus longer," they said. "These two factors contribute to the increased transmissibility seen with the Delta variant.”
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the Delta variant “is spreading with incredible efficiency” and now represents more than 83 percent of new cases of the virus.
Most new infections in the US continue to be among unvaccinated people. But “breakthrough” infections, which generally cause milder illness, can occur in vaccinated people, health officials said.
According to the Department of Health, all three - Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer - vaccines in the US have shown to be “very effective” against the COVID-19 variants, and “remain the single best way for people to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their community from COVID-19 and its variants.”
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