Covid-19: CDC Changed Mask Guidance and the Provincetown Outbreak Was Part of the Reason

Covid-19: CDC Changed Mask Guidance and the Provincetown Outbreak Was Part of the Reason

Thousands of visitors come each year to the small town of Provincetown, Massachusetts, to celebrate July 4. This year was no exception, and several festivities were held to mark the beginning of the summer. After Independence Day, tourists keep arriving in the small town with only 3.000 permanent residents. The CDC conducted a COVID-19 study including 469 Massachusetts residents, including those from Provincetown, who tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 

Barnstable Country outbreak related to July 4 festivities

Because the Delta strain of the coronavirus has a high transmissibility rate and it has become the dominant variant in the U.S, CDC experts are trying to determine how this strain spreads, even among fully vaccinated people. The study determined that after the large public festivities and events that took place between July 3 and 17, over 469 cases of SARS-CoV-2 infections were identified. Out of those 469 cases, 346 people who tested positive for the virus were fully vaccinated. The Delta strain was found in 90% of samples taken from 133 people. Also, the viral load was similar in both groups: vaccinated and unvaccinated people. 

What are the implications?

After analyzing the national situation and many outbreaks, the CDC decided to include new recommendations for indoor public spaces and crowded outdoor spaces. Some of the recommendations included wearing masks during indoor places and crowded outdoor spaces, even if fully vaccinated. These recommendations should be taken into consideration because the study results indicated that those infected with the Delta strain of the coronavirus have similar viral loads, even if partially or fully vaccinated. The conclusion is that the strain that originated in India is much more aggressive and, scientists discovered it carries viral loads 1,000 times higher than other variants such as Alpha or Beta. 

Anna Daniels

Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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