Are COVID-19 variants a concern in Massachusetts?

Coronavirus Local Impact

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – We’re nearing a year since COVID-19 changed our way of living.

Massachusetts has made significant progress in a year, but new variants have caused some to worry. 22News spoke with a local health expert who said variants shouldn’t be too much of a concern for now.

On March 10, 2020 Governor Charlie Baker announced a state of emergency due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. One of the first states to be severely impacted by the virus.

“We were the third highest state in terms of cases and deaths for a while there right after New York and New Jersey before it went nationwide.”

Nearly 365 days later, Massachusetts is not in the clear but has come a long way. Currently the state has an average of 1,100 new cases per day, a 25% drop from two weeks ago. The state’s 735 hospitalized cases is the lowest since mid-November.

While cases continue to go down, different variants continue to rise. The British variant is now the cause of about 20% of new cases here in the United States and certain isolated cases here in state.

However, Dr. Keroack said if residents remain diligent, the variants shouldn’t interfere with progress. “I don’t spend a lot of time sweating out the variants. I sweat on the velocity of vaccine administration and how well people are following protective measures. If we do that we’re going to be ok.”

Dr. Keroack adds that the UK is starting to show signs of being able to contain this variant. On a national level, Dr. Keroack said if we vaccinate 2 million people per day we could return to a strong sense of normalcy by June.

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