Nantucket issues face mask advisory following Provincetown cluster

Residents and visitors are advised to wear a mask when inside or in public locations where social distancing is not possible.

Nantucket reported five positive cases of COVID-19 from July 16 to 20; none required hospitalization. Julia Cumes for the Boston Globe

The Town of Nantucket issued a face mask advisory Wednesday amid the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts.

According to the advisory, all residents and visitors to the island are encouraged to wear a mask while indoors and at public locations where social distancing is not possible, regardless of vaccination status. The town also recommends practicing social distancing.

The advisory also warned people that even those who are vaccinated are susceptible to testing positive, especially after “prolonged exposure, indoors and at high concentrations.” Breakthrough cases have accounted for approximately 30% of recent positive cases, but those testing positive mostly remain asymptomatic.


“Basically, with the increase in cases across the state and the likelihood of the Delta variant being the driving force behind that, we thought it was prudent to kind of get ahead of it and start raising awareness around the importance of mask wearing, even for the vaccinated people,” Jerico Mele, Nantucket’s human services director, told

This advisory follows Provincetown’s recent face mask advisory announced Monday. The town issued the advisory after 130 individuals tested positive for COVID-19. There are now 256 positive COVID-19 cases associated with this cluster. Health officials are attributing it to the new Delta variant.

The island off Cape Cod only reported five positive cases of COVID-19 from July 16 to 20, and none required hospitalization, according to a press release from the town’s Department of Health and Human Services.

However, the town has been doing wastewater surveillance through the company Biobot, which does PCR testing on wastewater and predicts approximately a week ahead on when the COVID-19 cases will start to become symptomatic, according to Mele.

“We saw a little bit of a spike in that … and so that indicates that it’s likely we’ll have more positive cases with samples taken on the island shortly,” he said. 


Despite the local advisories for face masks, Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday that the state of Massachusetts is not looking to reissue a mask mandate.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on