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'It's Depressing,' Provincetown Brings Back Indoor Mask Mandate As Coronavirus Cases Rise

PROVINCETOWN (CBS) -- Provincetown has reinstated an indoor mask mandate because of a growing coronavirus cluster.

Since the Fourth of July weekend at least 550 people, including locals and tourists, have tested positive for the virus.

The Board of Selectmen in Provincetown unanimously voted to reinstate the indoor mask requirement Sunday. The mandate is effective immediately.

According to Barnstable County health officials, 551 confirmed cases are now associated with the Provincetown cluster as of this past Friday. That's an increase of more than 400 from a week before. As of Friday, 69% of those infected are fully vaccinated. Only three people ended up in the hospital.

Town Manager Alex Morse said 53 specimens were sent for further testing and all 53 came back with the Delta variant detected.

"COVID, unfortunately, and I think it's depressing for many of us, isn't going away any time soon and I think Provincetown is experiencing what other places will be experiencing earlier," Morse said.

If the test positivity rate drops below 3% for at least 5 days, Morse said the mandate will shift to an advisory.

If the test positivity rate goes under 1% for at least 5 days, the advisory will be lifted.

The advisory and mandate would return if testing rises to the same numbers.

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