Have you noticed the high number of out-of-state vehicles heading down 195 towards the Cape? It looks like the rental properties and hotels are booked solid, and thank goodness for that.

But along with all these visitors, there's a possibility that they're bringing more COVID-19 risks with them. In a moment, I'm going to associate tourism and education, but first some recent findings.

The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce was pleased to report that before the July 4 holiday, hotel occupancy was down 48 percent during the last week of June, leading into the Independence Day merrymaking, compared to last year's numbers. But by the time the illegal fireworks were going off, hotel occupancy skyrocketed to 89 percent. That was still less than 2019 but considering the circumstances, the Cape's summer season has returned to the region.

Last Sunday saw Nantucket's fifth confirmed COVID-19 case in a week, while the small community of Gosnold saw its first confirmed case. But if the numbers stay low between July 4 and mid-August, with all the out-of-staters here, this would be a good gauge to consider when deciding whether or not to let the kids and teachers return to in-person school this September.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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