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Cases of COVID-19 linked to Provincetown outbreak found in Minnesota

There have been more than 550 cases linked to the Massachusetts tourist destination since the 4th of July weekend.

Health officials say there have been several cases of COVID-19 detected in Minnesota that have been traced back to the holiday weekend outbreak in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Minnesota Department of Health infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann says that all the Minnesotans who have contracted COVID-19 after spending time in the Cape Cod tourist destination over 4th of July weekend were vaccinated, and none of them have been hospitalized.

Officials in Provincetown re-implemented an indoor mask mandate following the outbreak, which has so far seen more than 550 cases linked to it, with around two-thirds of those infected Massachusetts residents.

MDH is advising anyone who has spent time in Provincetown since July 3 to get tested for COVID-19.

It comes as COVID-19 cases continue to rise as the delta variant has been spreading across the U.S.

The current batch of vaccinations are less effective at preventing infection against delta compared to the original COVID-19 strain and the U.K. "alpha" variant, so breakthrough cases in those who have completed their vaccine series are possible, though still unlikely.

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However, breakthrough cases still represent a tiny majority of cases in Minnesota and the U.S. in what it increasingly being referred to as the "pandemic of the unvaccinated."

Ehresmann says that Minnesota has recorded just 3,886 vaccine breakthrough cases in Minnesota out of around three million fully vaccinated Minnesotans, meaning 99.9% of those vaccinated have not contracted the virus since getting their shots.

Crucially, the vaccines are still very effective at preventing severe complications and hospitalizations resulting from the delta variant, with the CDC saying that unvaccinated people account for more than 97% of those entering American hospitals with severe COVID-19 in recent weeks.

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