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Cape Cod Ramping Up Vaccinations And Requirements As COVID Case Counts Grow

BARNSTABLE (CBS) - COVID concerns are spreading through Cape Cod as case numbers continue to climb.

At the Barnstable County Fair this week, between the turkey legs, a ride on The Scrambler and a visit to the sheep barn, you can also get a COVID-19 vaccination. Ride operator Jose Acevedo got a Johnson & Johnson shot as soon as the clinic popped up Tuesday. "I'm happy," he said. "I need it."

CapeCod
COVID concerns are spreading through Cape Cod as case numbers continue to climb.  (WBZ-TV)

He's the kind of target Cape health officials want to reach, with countless transient workers and tourists coming to the area. "There's a lot of news out there, and we've all heard about the issues in Provincetown," said Erika Woods, Deputy Director of the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment. The number of cases linked to the now infamous P-town cluster continues to grow, at this point up to 256 people. "The easier we can make it for people, I think the more people will do it," said Woods.

But many of those Provincetown cases involve people who are vaccinated. Governor Charlie Baker says it's important to recognize vaccinations do prevent hospitalizations and deaths. "The difference in COVID among folks who are and are not vaccinated is stark and profound," he said at a Thursday morning news conference on the Cape.

That's why some Provincetown business are adopting zero tolerance vaccination policies. "I don't think it's a high price of admission," said Ken Horgan, who owns and manages the Pilot House. "I never in all my years have had to ask patrons for personal medical information. It's a strange place to be."

Like Provincetown, Nantucket is also cautioning people to mask up indoors and in all public places where it's impossible to distance from others. "If communities need to pursue strategies that are more effective and appropriate for them, then they should do so," said Gov. Baker.

Despite the growing concerns on the Cape, he said Massachusetts is at the top of the list in the country for vaccinations, and low in cases overall. That's why he says he's not considering any more restrictions at the state level.

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