7/30/2021 | Update: COVID-19 Cluster in Provincetown
The Provincetown Select Board, Provincetown Board of Health and Barnstable County officials continue to closely monitor the cluster of COVID-19 cases that prompted officials to issue a public health advisory on July 19, which was then escalated to a town-wide public health mandate on July 26.
As of July 29, a total of 934 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 had been officially reported to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health associated with the Provincetown cluster. Of these cases, 560 are Massachusetts residents, 231 of which reside in Provincetown. The remainder of individuals who tested positive reside in other states. A total of 7 hospitalizations have been linked with this cluster. No deaths have been reported. Genetic sequencing continues to provide evidence of community transmission of the Delta variant.
The following table provides a detailed breakdown of geographic and demographic data related to this cluster:
It is important to note that the case data are cumulative and do not represent the number of people with active cases of COVID-19, or the number of cases currently hospitalized. As of July 28, approximately half have been released from isolation consistent with the timeframes associated with the virus’ incubation and infectious periods and Department of Public Health guidance on isolation. See below:
Testing and Test Positivity Rates
Testing is the best way for health officials to gauge the impact of a cluster and the success of measures that are being taken to reduce viral spread. The test positivity rate (the number of tests that come back positive in relation to the total number of tests) have improved since surveillance of the Provincetown cluster began, from 15% to 4.6%. A test positivity rate of <5% is considered progress towards cluster containment, while a testing positivity rate of <1% is considered contained. The table below illustrates the progression of case positivity rates over the course of the cluster, beginning when the first test results became available on July 14: