COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information Page
The Provincetown Health Department will be providing frequent updates to the community on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We continue to receive queries from residents and employers expressing understandable concern about the disease, as well as potential disruptions to work, school, and our everyday lives. For the most current state and national information and guidance, please visit the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).
Governor Baker announced that effective August 1st, all travelers entering Massachusetts -- both out of state residents and Massachusetts residents returning home -- must comply with a new travel order. This includes students returning to campuses for the fall semester. See COVID-19 Travel Order
The new travel order requires all visitors and returning residents to fill out a “Massachusetts Traveler Form” unless they are coming from a state that has been designated a lower risk COVID-19 state or fall into an exemption category. The new travel order also provides that visitors and returning residents arriving in Massachusetts from any place other than a COVID-19 lower-risk state must quarantine for 14-days unless they can produce a negative COVID-19 test result administered on a sample taken not more than 72-hours prior to arriving in Massachusetts.
Governor Baker announced updated guidance June 30, 2020 for those traveling to Massachusetts:
All travelers arriving to Massachusetts – including Massachusetts residents returning home – are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days, except that, beginning July 1, 2020, travelers from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, and New Jersey arriving in Massachusetts are exempt from this directive and need not self-quarantine for 14 days.
In addition, workers designated by the federal government as essential critical infrastructure workers are exempt from the directive to self-quarantine for 14 days if traveling to Massachusetts for work purposes. All persons are instructed not to travel to Massachusetts if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
For Massachusetts travel information, please visit the Department of Public Health’s (DPH) website here: Travel Information Related to COVID-19. For national travel information, please visit www.travel.state.gov.
Call 2-1-1 anywhere in Massachusetts to get real-time COVID-19 information, resources, and referrals in multiple languages.
You may also sign up for COVID-19 related text alerts from the state by texting the keyword COVIDMA to 888-777.
The Massachusetts Nursing Home Family Resource Line is 617-660-5399. It is open every day from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
If You Feel Like You May Have a Respiratory Illness
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to symptoms of flu and other respiratory illnesses. Only a healthcare provider can determine the cause of your symptoms. Those symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Call Outer Cape Health Services at 508-905-2888 for screening and to make an appointment to get tested. For more information about Outer Cape Health Services’ COVID-19 testing procedures, click here.
Residents of Massachusetts may also be screened for free using Buoy Health’s online 24/7 tool. Visit Buoy.com/mass to learn more and use the tool.
If You Have COVID-19
How to Protect Yourself
National and international health organizations maintain the most up-to-date information on how to protect yourself from the virus, like the World Health Organization (WHO) information here and the CDC’s information here. The basics include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your nose, or mouth. People do this all day long unconsciously – try to be mindful of the urge and hold back.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects including cell phones and surfaces using an EPA-approved household cleaning spray or wipe (the EPA has a list of disinfectants on their website).
- Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, then wash your hands. Use your clothes/elbow only if there are no tissues. Still wash your hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Click here to see the Provincetown Board of Health’s memo on mask use during the State of Emergency.
Department of Public Health Masks and Face Covering information:
Face Covering Resources
On May 11, 2020 Governor Charlie Baker announced a four-phase approach to reopening the Massachusetts economy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and published Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards that will apply across all sectors and industries once reopening begins.
- Reopening Advisory Board Presentation May 11, 2020
- Reopening: Four-Phase Approach
- Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards
- Submit Comments to the Re-opening Advisory Board
- Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public. These businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely. As of April 28, 2020, that order has been extended until May 18, 2020. Click here for an FAQ on essential services.
- MA-DPH has specific guidance regarding lodging and short term rentals.
- Click here to see the MA-DPH Stay-at-Home Advisory for Individuals over 70 and for those with underlying health conditions.
- School Closures: Provincetown Schools, including the Wee Care and Early Learning Center, are closed through June 29, 2020. Check the Provincetown Schools website for more information and how to access its food distribution program during the school closure.
- Events and gatherings: On March 23, 2020, Governor Baker prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people in Massachusetts. See the order here.
- Restaurants and bars: On March 15, 2020, Governor Baker ordered all restaurants and bars to offer take-out or delivery options only. No seating is permitted in food or bar establishments. See the order here.
- As of March 27, 2020, Governor Baker has issued an advisory for all those traveling to Massachusetts to self-quarantine for 14 days.
- Masks or cloth face coverings are required in public where you cannot social distance as of May 6, 2020.
Links to Helpful Resources:
- Cleaning Information for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) from the CDC
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has many helpful resources including:
- From the CDC:
- From MA Department of Public Health:
- Tips for Restaurants (from ServSafe)
- Provincetown Health Department COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Fact Sheet
- Hoja Informativa de COVID-19 (Departamento de Salud de Provincetown)
- Coping with Stress and Fear (links in various languages)
- Sex and COVID-19 (--> infographic as PDF)
- Safer Drug Use During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- How Young People Can Health Prevent the Spread of COVID 19 by Social Distancing (YouTube Video)
- Memo on Mask Use (Provincetown Board of Health)
- Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 (CDC)
At the present, the Provincetown Health Department has the following responsibilities:
- Promote accurate information about COVID-19 to the public.
- The Provincetown Health Department coordinates with public health nurses on COVID-19 case follow-up, investigation, and advising cases on self-isolation measures.
- The Provincetown Health Department contacts cases regularly to ensure basic needs are met.
- Public health nurses and Provincetown Health Department staff ensure that cases are aware of proper prevention measures for their home, and the protocol of calling ahead and identifying themselves as symptomatic or under self-quarantine should they need medical care.