Science | August 9, 2021 6:00 am

How Did Provincetown Respond to the Study About the Delta Variant?

The aftermath of a landmark study

Provincetown
Commercial Street in Provincetown.
Andreas Faessler , CC BY-SA 3.0

Late last month, the CDC changed its national policy on COVID-19 because of a study about the delta variant’s spread among the vaccinated in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The study’s results have caused many vaccinated people to re-evaluate their personal risk level, and brought a return to mask-wearing among the vaccinated in numerous parts of the country.

There’s one question that comes to mind in light of this — namely, how is the government of Provincetown itself reacting to the study?

In the aftermath of the CDC’s revised guidelines, Provincetown’s Town Manager, Alex Morse, took to social media to address the study’s findings — specifically, to point out that another conclusion one could draw from them is that that vaccines work in terms of reducing harm, even in breakthrough infections. “The outbreak is contained and Provincetown is safe,” he wrote.

And in a new article at Eater, Terrence Doyle explored how Provincetown’s local businesses are dealing with the aftermath of the study and the rise of the delta variant. Doyle writes that, in the wake of the surge in COVID-19 cases, “Provincetown’s dance floors, bars, restaurants, and shops emptied — precisely at what would normally be the height of the summer season.”

An indoor mask mandate helped lower the number of COVID-19 cases in town, but Eater reports that a number of businesses are still seeing a significant loss of revenue.

Promoter and DJ Mark Louque expressed frustration that local authorities didn’t have a plan in place for a dangerous COVID variant. “There should have been a plan in place to nip it in the bud really quickly, and have all workers and all businesses aware of what could potentially happen [when] the numbers go up,” Loque told Eater.

The article notes that both individual businesses and the local government are looking into implementing a vaccine requirement to enter bars, clubs and restaurants. It’s an understandable response — and hopefully it’ll turn out to be an effective one as well.