COVID-19 Information Page
Looking for Provincetown's COVID-19 statistics?
COVID cases in Provincetown, as of 9/13/21:
7 active cases, 281 cleared from isolation.
What can you do to protect yourself and others from COVID:
If you are sick, stay home. If you have any respiratory symptoms, get tested. Assistance is available for residents and visitors who test positive for COVID-19 and need to quarantine. See the Provincetown Health Department COVID-19 resources webpage for more information: http://www.provincetown-ma.gov/1316/Resources-during-the-State-of-Emergency.
Vaccination remains our strongest defense in preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. Barnstable County holds weekly vaccine clinics on Thursdays between 10AM and 2PM at the Harborside Conference Room at the Barnstable County Complex in Barnstable Village. The clinics are free and open to everyone. Appointments can be made in advance at www.barnstablecountyhealth.org and walk-ins are welcome. Pfizer vaccine is offered to anyone 12+ while Johnson & Johnson vaccine is available for those who are 18+. Other vaccination locations can be found at https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/.
It’s important to remember that while the COVID-19 vaccines are proven to be both safe and effective, vaccine breakthrough cases are normal and expected. COVID-19 is still present in our community and as such, people can still contract the virus. Fortunately, due to the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines, severe illness is highly unlikely in those instances where vaccinated individuals are infected.
The Health Department maintains two webpages on local resources and activities:
The public is strongly encouraged to enable MassNotify on their smartphones. The service can be accessed through both Android and iPhone settings; it is NOT an application that can be obtained through an app store. This private and anonymous service notifies users of a potential exposure to COVID-19 so they may take the appropriate precautions. For more information and instructions on enabling MassNotify on your smartphone, visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/learn-more-about-massnotify.
Click here to Enable MassNotify on your smartphone. Help Massachusetts reopen safely. Add your phone to the fight to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Prevention: 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 frequently touched objects including cell phones and surfaces.
- 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.
If You Have COVID-19
You must remain in isolation until a public health authority (the Massachusetts Department of Public Health or your local Board of Health) tells you can leave your home. Do not leave your home except for urgent medical care, and call ahead before you seek medical care. The CDC has guidance on what to do if you have contracted COVID-19, and your local public health staff will also provide you with guidance specific to your situation.
Looking for the CDC's cleaning guidance? Click here.
Sign up for emergency alerts here.
Updated guidance on masking in Provincetown: Alex Morse, Town Manager, and the Board of Health have consulted with county and state experts, and for the following reasons, announced that the indoor mask mandate will shifted to a public health advisory as of Tuesday August 31st.:
- The number of active cases in Town has been under 10 for three weeks prior to this decision, with a total number of active cases among Provincetown residents is 3 at that time.
- The test positivity rate measured by the Fallon mobile van has drastically improved since surveillance of the Provincetown cluster began, from a peak of 15.1% on July 15th to 2.3% at the time of the shift to advisory. While the positivity rate as measured by the van has been incredibly helpful in monitoring positivity in general (over 11,400 tests have been conducted), it is no longer the most accurate metric to measure the prevalence of COVID in our community. The Fallon testing site is utilized by residents, visitors, and workers from Provincetown and from other communities in the Outer Cape, and the majority positive cases reported daily from the van are no longer in Provincetown. The demand for testing has also started to decrease, skewing the positivity rate.
- The more accurate measure of local prevalence is the 14-day positivity rate reported weekly by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. At the time of this decision, the 14-day positivity rate was 2.76% in Provincetown. You can visit the DPH dashboard of cases by city/town, which is updated every Thursday afternoon: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-response-reporting#covid-19-interactive-data-dashboard-
- The Board of Health has distributed over 2,600 rapid tests to local businesses over the last several weeks. While positive cases are reported to the Town and the County, negative results are not, further skewing the data we have available.
During the advisory, we will continue to do the following:
- Monitor active cases
- Monitor the positivity rate as reported by the Department of Public Health
- Monitor and publish weekly wastewater results
- Ensure that testing is available after Labor Day
- Consider reenacting the indoor mask mandate if deemed necessary by the data
- Make vaccination a priority - including first, second, and third doses.
A public health advisory, while not a mandate, is a recommendation from public health officials that masking continue in indoor spaces when not eating or drinking.
- Masks are advised indoors where social distancing cannot be achieved.
- All unvaccinated individuals, including children under the age of 12, are required to wear masks both outdoors in crowded areas where social distancing cannot be achieved and in public indoor spaces, per CDC guidelines.
- Masks remain mandatory for all individuals on public and private transportation systems (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail and transportation stations), in healthcare facilities and in other settings hosting vulnerable populations, such as congregate care settings.
Many people will continue to wear a mask, and we ask that those choosing not to wear a mask respect the decision of others to wear one, and we also ask those that continue to wear a mask respect the decision of those who decide not to wear one. COVID will continue to be with us for quite some time, and it’s important that people assess their own personal risk as they make the best decision for themselves and the people around them. We are learning to live with, and mitigate, the impact of the virus on our community.
Many local businesses will continue to have an indoor mask requirement. Individual businesses and organizations reserve the right to require masks in indoor spaces.
While the Town will no longer be inspecting business for mask compliance, the Town’s compliance officer, and the Police Department if necessary, will be available to support individual businesses in situations where individuals fail to comply with a business’s policy.
Testing: To receive a COVID test at Outer Cape Health Services, call 508-905-2888. Testing sites and hours for prescheduled appointments are intended for individuals who are presenting symptoms or may have had contact with a COVID-positive individual.
- OCHS Provincetown Health Center, 49 Harry Kemp Way: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
- OCHS Wellfleet Health Center, 3130 State Highway Route 6: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 am - 11 am
Cape Cod Hospital Community Testing: Call the Community Testing Line at 508-534-7103 to be scheduled for an appointment for drive-through testing on the campus of Cape Cod Hospital or Falmouth Hospital. Test results are currently available within 24 hours. For asymptomatic individuals seeking community testing to monitor their health, the out-of-pocket cost is $75. Accommodations will be made for those unable to pay, as no one seeking testing will be turned away. For individuals seeking community testing due to travel, the out-of-pocket cost is $110.
The Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment maintains a resource of testing sites on Cape Cod.
Get tested if you have been exposed or have symptoms associated with COVID-19, even if your symptoms are mild. “Exposure” is considered having contact within 6’ of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes or more. Stay home from work if you are having symptoms associated with COVID-19 and get tested. Under Massachusetts Law, employers are required to make paid leave time available to employees for COVID-related illness, quarantine, and vaccinations.
For more information, visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-temporary-emergency-paid-sick-leave-program.
The Town will also continue to distribute boxes of rapid tests to local businesses as needed. Businesses can visit the Department of Community Development at Town Hall to pick up tests, Monday – Thursday, from 9 am – 4 pm.
The Town of Provincetown - it’s people, businesses, and visitors - should be incredibly proud of how we’ve addressed the ongoing challenges brought forth by COVID throughout the last several weeks. While our Town was thrust into the national spotlight by being among the first to confront the Delta variant and its contagious nature, we showcased what it looks like for a community to come together and do what is necessary to stop the spread and protect the public’s health.
- We quickly made testing available and over 11,400 tests have been conducted since mid-July.
- We ramped up vaccinations and saw previously hesitant individuals - many of them local workers - get vaccinated.
- We encouraged businesses to prioritize vaccination for their employees, and we now have dozens of local businesses ensuring their staff is vaccinated and many others requiring proof of vaccination to enter.
- We also demonstrated the power of contact tracing. If not for our community members prioritizing their public health and the health of those around them, and valuing regular testing, we would not have seen the full extent of our cluster nor the subsequent decline in our positivity rate.
And perhaps most importantly, we highlighted the effectiveness of the vaccine. While our cluster impacted over 1,000 people, less than ten required hospitalization and no one lost their life.
We also know that this may not have been the summer many were expecting, and we will be sure to address the economic impact on some of our community members in the weeks and months to come. We look forward to a lively - and safe - Fall in Provincetown. The Town Manager will continue to provide progress updates, and the Town remains committed to openness and transparency with the data available to us.
Thank you for your patience and understanding throughout this challenging time.
See Updated MA Department of Public Health mask advisory here:
"Effective July 30: The Department of Public Health has issued a new mask advisory in light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance. Fully vaccinated individuals are advised to wear a mask or face covering when indoors (and not in your own home) if you have a weakened immune system, or if you are at increased risk for severe disease because of your age or an underlying medical condition, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is an unvaccinated adult. Masks are still mandatory for all individuals on public and private transportation systems (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail and transportation stations), in healthcare facilities and in other settings hosting vulnerable populations, such as congregate care settings."
See Updated CDC Advisory here :
"On July 27th, CDC updated its guidance for fully vaccinated people, recommending that everyone wear a mask in indoor public settings in areas of substantial and high transmission, regardless of vaccination status. This decision was made with the data and science available to CDC at the time, including a valuable public health partnership in rapid receipt and review of unpublished data.
Delta infection resulted in similarly high SARS-CoV-2 viral loads in vaccinated and unvaccinated people. High viral loads suggest an increased risk of transmission and raised concern that, unlike with other variants, vaccinated people infected with Delta can transmit the virus.
This outbreak investigation and the published report were a collaboration between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health and CDC ... [with gratitude for] the residents of Barnstable County who leaned in to assist with the investigation through their swift participation in interviews by contact tracers, willingness to provide samples for testing, and adherence to safety protocols following notification of exposure."