LUDLOW, MA (WGGB/WSHM)-- A Ludlow man tested positive for COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated and visiting Provincetown where health officials have detected a cluster of coronavirus cases.
"Things just kept getting worse and worse. So when I got home I got tested and tested positive," said Ludlow resident Michael Genereaux.
Genereaux is a 59-year-old Ludlow resident. He is part of the 63 percent of people in the state who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
"I had my vaccination for both the flu and COVID around March. and I went on vacation July 9 through the 19 in Provincetown," said Genereaux.
Genereux is also among the hundreds who recently tested positive for the virus after visiting a popular Cape Cod tourist destination.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has been tracking a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases within Provincetown. As of Friday, the town reported 185 COVID cases, with a positivity rate of just over 12 percent.
This comes as the Delta variant was detected in the cluster of cases, prompting an indoor mask mandate for all those coming to the town whether they are vaccinated or not.
Genereux told Western Mass News he was visiting Provincetown last week when he began to feel sick halfway through his vacation.
"First, the first symptom was fatigue trying to get out of bed. At first, trying to get out of bed, it was difficult, next thing you know I was in bed for 30 hours. We went into the town that night and I came right back I was that sick," said Genereux.
Medical expert Desiree Otenti with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts tells Western Mass News Genereux was likely exposed to the highly contagious Delta variant.
"Because the Delta variant is so contagious and people are getting exposed to it in closer areas now because clubs are open and so the circulation isn’t there so that viral load-in buildings is escalating and escalating and escalating," said Oteni, the senior director of medical policy.
With an increase in the number of breakthrough cases in the state, many are wondering if the vaccine isn’t doing its job.
Western Mass News asked Otenti if this is true.
"If you’re going into battle and you have a shield to protect 85 percent of your body, would you put that down and say no because it’s not protecting 100 percent? No, this is our protection from the virus, even if you get exposed to it and you get it it’s so much better to be protected from the hospitalizations and the death instead of just saying 'okay I'm going to take my chances' and then you’re at 100 percent risk. Wouldn’t you rather have something rather than nothing?" said Oteni.
Genereaux agrees, saying if he did not get vaccinated he believes his symptoms would be much worse.
"Because even in my head even though I got the vaccine I didn’t think I would get it. But I guess I was wrong and I’m glad I didn’t take those chances," said Genereaux.
As for whether other communities here in the state will put mask mandates back in place or other restrictions, Otenti said it’s too soon to tell. But she wants everyone to remember whether you’re vaccinated or not be careful who you expose yourself to and limit time indoors in crowded spaces.