The outbreak grew from that point.. Then the situation turned more troubling: A large number of those infected were vaccinated Americans!
As of Thursday, 882 people were tied to the Provincetown outbreak. Among those living in Massachusetts, 74% of them were fully immunized, yet officials said the vast majority were also reporting symptoms. Seven people were reported hospitalized.
The initial findings of the investigation led by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seemed to have huge implications.
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Delta was known for its “hyper-transmissibility,” or as one former White House adviser put it “COVID on steroids.”
“What has changed is the virus,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and Biden’s chief medical adviser.
When a vaccinated person gets infected with delta — called a “breakthrough infection” — “the level of virus in their nasopharynx is about 1,000 times higher than with the alpha variant,” Fauci said in an interview Wednesday with MSNBC.
All indications now are that the Provincetown outbreak investigation is among the pieces of new evidence behind the CDC’s decision to ask Americans to once again put on their masks indoors, even if they are vaccinated.