Nantucket’s COVID-19 outbreak has turned residents against each other

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A COVID-19 outbreak in Nantucket has its wealthy residents turning against each other — with some resorting to trying to “rat” out those defying public health rules.

The attempts to take matters into their own hands in the tony Massachusetts enclave came amid an “astronomical” rise in cases following Thanksgiving, the Daily Beast reported.

“I get rat phone calls where people will be like, ‘I know that so and so is positive, and they’re at work and they’re driving around without a mask,’” Elizabeth Harris, who is a nurse at a Nantucket hospital tasked with investigating cases, told the outlet.

Nantucket reported a positivity rate of 13.1 percent during the week of Dec. 14 — which is among the highest in the nation, the outlet reported.

On the island’s community Facebook pages, residents have grown increasingly anxious about its worst outbreak since the pandemic began — including calling on members to “keep more than six feet” from one specific person and urging lawmakers to penalize businesses breaching protocols, according to the report.

The current atmosphere prompted Nantucket Cottage Hospital to issue a statement Dec. 5 to remind residents “now is not the time to panic or point fingers,” the site reported.

Jason Graziadei, a spokesman for Nantucket Cottage Hospital, said they’ve been forced to weigh how much information to provide about outbreaks, fearing that residents might stop patronizing businesses.

“It’s sink or swim for many businesses. Once someone is named, that restaurant could just be out of business,” he told the Daily Beast.

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