SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – While COVID-19 cases are not near where they were last year
they are still on the rise.

This December 23rd looks very different compared to last year when it comes to the Stop the Spread site at the Eastfield Mall. AMR Operations Manager Kim D’Angelo said they’re prepared for whatever happens.

“We have a big team, they’re ready to go for the holiday testing so we hope to keep it down to no line and no wait,” D’Angelo told 22News.

The site is now closed until the day after Christmas but results are still expected to come within 24 hours. The lines to get tested may be short. Doctor Megan Gallagher, an Infectious Disease Physician at Baystate Medical Center, said COVID-19 has not gone away.

“We are seeing a pretty steady number of cases over the past month. In terms of hospitalizations we are seeing a little bit of a rise,” said Gallagher.

However Doctor Gallagher said we are not close to the high levels we saw last year. Still the Centers for Disease Control now says Hampden County has high community levels of COVID-19 and is recommending you wear a mask. Gallagher said that’s particularly important if you’re at places like the grocery store or last minute shopping.

It’s also a good idea to get the vaccine, particularly because it’s proving to be effective against the current strain but if you are feeling under the weather,

“It’s okay to stay home if you are sick and I want you to stay home if you’re sick. It’s not worth exposing the rest of your families and your loved ones, some of whom may get quite sick if you give them what you have,” Gallagher said.

And once again the federal government is offering free at home COVID-19 tests that can be shipped to your door.