Cape Cod Leading in Brazilian COVID Variant Cases

An illustration of COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

HYANNIS – According to researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cape Cod has the highest number of P.1 Brazilian variant cases of COVID-19 in the state, which currently leads the nation in total P.1 variant case counts.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Massachusetts has reported over 50 cases of the P.1 variant labeled as a one of five “Variants of Concern” by the agency. 

The majority of these cases were reported in Barnstable County.

“P.1 has shown a rapid rise in frequency in the few weeks following its first detection on March 16th, 2021,” wrote researchers in their paper.

The P.1 variant has shown to be more transmissible, though it is still unknown how readily it can reinfect individuals who have already had COVID-19, said researchers.

According to John Hopkins University and Medicine, there are 36.2 new daily total COVID cases per 100,000 people in Barnstable County and about 20 percent of the state’s residents have been fully vaccinated. 

During their last meeting, the Cape Cod Response Task Force said that they were monitoring the variant situation in the region as a third surge of COVID looms.

“This is an emerging area of deep and urgent concern,” said Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr, a member of the task force. 

According to the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment, most towns on Cape remain in the “red” category, meaning they have more than 25 new daily total COVID cases per 100,000 people.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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