SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Coronavirus cases in the U.S. are approaching levels we saw a year ago, when they were at their peak. Omicron is making up a fair share of the new cases.

With the holidays approaching and the new variant, many fear that a lot more infections to come. The Thanksgiving holiday and increase in travel are accounting for higher total COVID-19 cases. In Massachusetts, over 4,600 new COVID-19 cases were reported by the DPH Tuesday, nearly a thousand more than this time last year. People living the state are taking notice and continue to take precautions.

Ronald Lukasik of Chicopee told 22News, “I go to less hockey games now, I used to go to a lot of Thunderbirds and Falcons, but with COVID going on. Yeah, its not good.”

With COVID-19 cases on the rise, Baystate Health is now treating 120 COVID patients, 94 are at Baystate Medical Center. That’s 7 more than a day ago and 15 more than when the week started.

“The numbers are obviously going up, everybody knows that, and we are asking officers to be precautious monitor themselves, and don’t come to work if they are sick”, said Chief Paul Connor of the West Springfield Police Department

Omicron has become the variant of most concern, the fully vaccinated have made up many of the confirmed cases.

“We still have to protect ourselves, the vaccinated are still testing positive from the virus,” Chief Conner added.

The good news is that health experts still say the vaccine helps prevent severe disease. A positive new study form Israel shows that three shots of the Pfizer vaccine provide a significant amount of protection from Omicron. Other countries also seeing a dramatic spike in cases. The U.K. reported 78,000 new COVID infections as of Wednesday, 10,000 more than their previous high in January.