COVID-19 Information Page
Provincetown Health Department sponsors annual flu and COVID bivalent booster vaccine clinic at Town Hall, October 6th from 2 - 4 pm.
9/12/22 Update: clinic is full. Check back here for any additional clinic news.
9/15/22 Update: If you have already registered for the Health Department vaccine clinic and were able to select MODERNA, THIS INFORMATION IS FOR YOU:
- There is a national shortage of Moderna and WE WILL NOT RECEIVE IT for the Provincetown Health Department October 6th vaccine clinic.
- MA DPH is only sending Pfizer COVID bivalent boosters.We did not know this yet when registration was announced, so some folks were able to book an appointment selecting Moderna.
- Once the Moderna shortage was announced the registration platform updated, that is why later registrants choosing Moderna got the message no appointments available.
- If someone does not want Pfizer this is not the clinic for your COVID booster; please stay tuned for later vaccine announcements.
- If someone does not mind which type of bivalent booster, there will be a Pfizer dose there for your appointment.
- Please accept our apologies for any confusion and invitation to at least keep flu vaccine appointments!
MA Department of Public Health’s new masking guidance recognizes that Massachusetts is a national leader in vaccination rates with over 84 percent of eligible residents fully vaccinated and over half of adults boosted, and in light of recent improvements in COVID-19 indicators, effective July 1, 2022, the new guidance advises that masks indoors are optional for most individuals, regardless of vaccination status. Individuals should wear a mask indoors 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 or is at increased risk for severe disease.
Mask Requirements in Certain Locations: Masks continue to be required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in healthcare / congregate care facilities (physician or dental offices, urgent care or community health centers, vaccine sites, nursing homes, assisted living facilities); emergency shelters; and home health care/personal care attendants.
Many local businesses will continue to have an indoor mask requirement and require proof of vaccine for entry. Individual businesses and organizations reserve the right to require masks in indoor spaces and vaccination, under the voluntary Business Certifications - Stop the Spread program.
CDC risk assessment is based on the new COVID-19 Community Level framework.
- With at-home testing, case counts have become a less reliable metric to determine the threat level of COVID-19 in a community.
- The CDC Community Level takes hospitalizations and hospital capacity into account, and outlines recommendations for additional precautions as Community Level rises, especially for those who are at high risk or have close friends or family members at high risk for severe COVID-19.
The CDC recommends masking when your community risk level is “High” COVID-19. Levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area. 7/25/22: The current CDC risk level for Barnstable County = MEDIUM.
COVID VACCINE INFORMATION: 9/1/22 update
On August 31, 2022, the FDA authorized both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent boosters. Individuals 18 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent, if it has been at least two months since they have completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.
Individuals 12 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent, if it has been at least two months since they completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Monovalent mRNA CVOID-19 vaccines are NO LONGER authorized for use as boosters in people ages 12 years and older. From the FDA press release:
- With today’s authorization, the monovalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not authorized as booster doses for individuals 12 years of age and older.
Appointments for monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna boosters in people 12 years of age and older must be rescheduled for when locations have the bivalent COVID-19 vaccines available.
Free telehealth for COVID-19 treatment with Paxlovid for MA residents 18+ who test positive for COVID-19 and have symptoms. Treatment must begin as soon as possible after testing positive and within 5 days of symptom onset.
You may be eligible if you have certain medical conditions that put you at higher risk for severe disease, or are over age 65. If you’re eligible for Paxlovid, you’ll be connected with a clinician for a video consultation within 30 minutes. The service is available in four languages.
Barnstable County operates a Community Health Helpline: call 774-330-3001 and leave a detailed message to receive a call from a public health nurse to assist with COVID infection related questions.
August 11, 2022 Update: With many tools now available for reducing COVID-19 severity, such as availability of vaccine, boosters, and treatment, there is significantly less risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death compared to earlier in the pandemic. CDC has updated its guidance for people who know they have been exposed to COVID-19.
- If you were exposed to COVID-19, regardless of your vaccination status: CDC recommends that instead of quarantining, you wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested 5 full days after your last exposure (day 6) for those individuals who wish to discontinue masking.
- If you have COVID-19: regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate from others for 5 days. If after 5 days you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication and your symptoms are improving, or you never had symptoms, you may end isolation but should continue masking around others and in public.
- Individuals with moderate illness or severe illness or with a weakened immune system, should isolate through day 10 and consult your doctor before ending isolation.
- The joint early childhood & K-12 guidance for students and staff has also been updated to reflect the updated CDC guidance on exposure and isolation in these settings.
This guidance is further acknowledgement that, while COVID-19 is still with us, for a majority of people, COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts their daily lives.
The Provincetown, Truro, and Wellfleet Health Departments sponsor an online COVID At Home Test reporting tool to help the Outer Cape Health Departments better understand how the virus is spreading in our communities. Results are confidential and anonymous and will only be used by Health Department staff for public health surveillance efforts. If you currently reside or have been in Provincetown, Truro, or Wellfleet during the past 14 days and have tested positive for COVID-19 using a home test kit (e.g., BinaxNOW, iHealth, QuickVue), please submit the following online form . To avoid duplication of test results, please do not report results of PCR testing that you have completed at healthcare or testing sites.
COVID TEST INFORMATION: Effective 1/15/22 until the end of the public health emergency, health insurance carriers and health plan sponsors are required to cover the cost of up to eight Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved at-home rapid tests (four 2-pack testing kits) per individual for COVID-19 every 30 days.
Anyone experiencing COVID symptoms should stay away from others, seek testing, and contact their healthcare provider. For clinical COVID-19 testing locally, call Outer Cape Health Services, 508-905-2888.
The State maintains an interactive dashboard that is regularly updated with information on case counts, vaccination records, and hospitalizations. You can click on 'City & Town Data' on the left column, hover over any town for the most current posted case information.
Percent positivity is calculated using molecular tests only. Results from at-home rapid tests are not reported into the state platform.
Why Provincetown's low COVID case counts are not reflective of the town's COVID risk level? The positivity rates and cases on MA DPH or Barnstable County dashboards count people residing in Provincetown who have a positive PCR test performed in a clinic; the "official" case counts do not include those with positive home rapid antigen tests. As most testing in town is now with home rapid antigen tests, we no longer have official case count numbers that reflect the number of people in Provincetown with COVID. The Outer Cape Health Departments receive only voluntary self-reporting of rapid test results through the online form, used as a surveillance tool.
What can be used instead of COVID case counts to assess the risk of COVID exposure in Provincetown? The PCR test positive rate (number of tests that are positive out of all tests) is useful as well as the Provincetown wastewater COVID levels that continue to be followed. These currently place Provincetown at medium COVID risk, consistent with most of Massachusetts.
On a county level, the number of people admitted to the hospital with COVID and percent of hospital beds occupied with people who have COVID are used in addition to the number of people testing positive.
What are the CDC recommended actions for people living in a community with high COVID transmission risk?
• Stay current with vaccinations, including boosters
• Wear a mask when indoors in public places
• Test if you have symptoms
• If you are immunocompromised or are at risk of more severe disease, wear a well fitted mask in public and consider avoiding indoor public spaces.
• Test early with any symptoms and notify your health care provider immediately if you test positive. You may be eligible for newer medications that decrease severe disease and work best if started early.
1/10/22: MA announces a new tool, My Vax Records, allowing people who received their vaccination in Massachusetts to generate a COVID-19 digital vaccine card, which would contain similar vaccination information to a paper CDC card, utilizing the SMART Health Card platform, generating a QR code that can be used to verify vaccination. Access the new tool at MyVaxRecords.Mass.Gov.
How It Works: Enter name, date of birth, and mobile phone number or email associated with your vaccine record. After creating a 4-digit PIN, the user receives a link to their vaccine record that will open upon re-entry of the PIN. The electronic record shows the same information as a paper CDC vaccine card: name, date of birth, date of vaccinations, and vaccine manufacturer. The system uses Massachusetts Immunization Information System (MIIS), the official database used by health care providers across the state to record vaccination information.
It also includes a QR code that makes these same details readable by a QR scanner, including smartphone apps. Once the SMART Health Card is received, users are able to save the QR code to their phone, such as the Apple Wallet, screenshot the information and save it to their phone’s photos, or print out a copy for a paper record. The system follows national standards for security and privacy.
This system provides an optional way that residents can access their vaccination information and a COVID-19 digital vaccine card. This will provide residents with another tool to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, where requested by businesses or other entities.
MassNotify: The public is strongly encouraged to enable MassNotify on their smartphones. The service can be accessed through both Android and iPhone settings. This is a 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.