CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Chicopee officials are concerned about the rise in positive COVID-19 cases in the city and they’re warning it could have a major impact on the community.
COVID cases have been confirmed in one school and in the police department. City leaders say it’s due to the community not following safety guidelines.
“We could potentially expose our residents to the second wave of this virus and that’s where our concern is,” said Chicopee Mayor John Vieu at a news conference Thursday.
Chicopee schools have had five full weeks of hybrid in-person classes and if cases continue to rise they may be forced to return to full remote.
At Chicopee Comprehensive High School, two staff members have tested positive. Superintendent Lynn Clark told 22News, “Out of an abundance of caution, we have 21 students who are quarantined currently.”
Clark added it is unknown if those students have tested positive or not.
Health officials attribute the rise in cases to residents being more lax with safety guidelines. Chicopee Health Director Lisa Sanders says, “It is also important to note that gatherings seem to be the driving force with the spread of COVID.”
And the virus isn’t discriminating in the community, even infecting the city’s law enforcement.
In total, five police officers, who worked closely together, tested positive. They’re at home quarantining. No other officers have tested positive and the department is disinfecting every eight hours as a precaution.
Chicopee police said there is no interruption in emergency services.