SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – While COVID hospitalizations are down across the state, sub-variants continue to spread.

22News spoke to health care professionals and has an outlook on what to watch for this summer.

The good news about COVID is that cases are down. This week, finally all counties across the state are reporting lower positivity rates.

According to state from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, hospitalizations are trending back down from a spike in late May. The seven day average of the number of people hospitalized due to COVID-19 is now 622. This number not only includes confirmed cases in acute care hospitals as well as alternative care sites. Right now at Baystate, there are 74 patients, but what’s important to note is the number of those in the ICU, only four. Medical professionals say the outlook for this summer is good.

Dr. Armando Paez the Chief Division of Infectious Diseases at Baystate Medical Center said, “So we will experience an earlier beautiful summer, where most likely the cases will be very minimal, and of course covid-19 is always unpredictable but this current surge is in the down trend.”

Dr. Paez said that although sub-variants are circulating, specifically B.1, B.4, and B.5, they cause only mild illness. He noted new boosters and treatments to fight COVID infections should be ready by the time we experience the next spike, likely by the fall when children return to school and the weather starts getting cold.

Dr. Paez noted that although the variants cause mild illness, they are more transmissible, so it’s important to stay up to date on your vaccines.