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As COVID-19 cases continue to rise on Cape Cod and the Islands, Nantucket’s Health and Human Services Department issued an advisory Wednesday asking all residents and visitors to wear face masks indoors in public locations when physical distancing isn’t possible.

The advisory applies to those who have been vaccinated as well as those who haven’t, Nantucket officials said in a statement.

“The increased virulence of the Delta variant, and its high ability to infect even those vaccinated in some cases, means that masking and distancing are strongly recommended at this time,” officials said. “Prolonged exposure, indoors and at high concentrations, is likely the cause of vaccinated individuals becoming infected. The Delta variant has also shown breakthrough ability against natural immunity and can reinfect those who have already had COVID.”


Nearby Cape Cod now has the highest rate of new COVID cases in Massachusetts, with an outbreak in Provincetown that has reportedly infected more than 250 people and a rise in cases in communities such as Barnstable, Falmouth, and Truro. Provincetown officials are also advising people to wear masks indoors “where social distancing cannot be achieved.”

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.