WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The CDC is urging people who live in high-risk areas to mask up. 22News found what a local health official had to say about staying safe.

Although most of western Massachusetts is considered the medium for risk, that evaluation could change as early as tomorrow.

West Springfield is seeing COVID numbers rise, counting 100 more cases this week than last. According to Jeanne Galloway, the Director of Public Health for the city stated that they have been watching the positivity count rise for about four weeks now. 22News asked Galloway what she recommends people do to stay safe.

Jeanne Galloway said, “It’s about risk reduction, so if you are out walking down the street or with people you live with, you don’t necessarily wear a mask. But if you go into a crowded area or people you don’t know, it’s probably a good idea. Getting on an airplane, even though it’s no longer required, probably a good idea. Wash your hands frequently, keep you social distancing, wear you mask. Get vaccinated if you are not vaccinated, get your booster if you don’t have all the ones that you are due for. Those are the kinds of things you can do to protect yourself and your family.”

Galloway stated that testing is key, so test yourself to keep the community safe, even if you think it’s allergies. Testing sites are nearby at the Eastfield Mall and more free kits have been released by the federal government, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get your hands on one.