Families celebrate holidays in person despite rising COVID cases

Coronavirus Local Impact

The South African doctor who alerted officials of the possibility of a new variant, later named omicron, said the “unusual but mild” symptoms were what caught her attention. (Photo: Getty Images)

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) — As Christmas comes to an end and people look towards New Years Day, COVID cases are on an upward slope in western Massachusetts and across the country.

The Omicron and Delta Varients likely play a role in these numbers. The CDC reported the Omicron variant “May spread more easily than other variants,” and the Delta variant ‘spreads more easily than other variants.’

Despite these growing cases and concerns over varients, 22News spoke with people who said their holiday celebrations returned to pre-pandemic times.

The most recent data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health shows, that as of Friday, the positivity rate for COVID tests is at eight percent. This percentage up significantly from October, where the positivity rate was below 2 percent.

This trend mirrors the holiday surge from the holidays in 2020.

“I’m a little concerned but I’m staying safe. Wearing my mask and everything in public, keeping my distance from people,” Dominic Emanuel said.

While virus transmission is possible among vaccinated individuals, the risk of hospitalization decreases significantly. For many families who were unable to celebrate Christmas last year due to COVID this year was an improvement.

“Last year was horrible because we all had COVID. So we had no Christmas it was horrible,” Adam Krause said.

“Last year my mom got sick right before with COVID so we weren’t able to do anything, so this year being with the whole family was nice,” Giuseppe Capua said.

Last year in Massachusetts, over 2,000 people were hospitalized for the virus on Christmas Eve. This year less than 1,600 on December 23. But as we approach the two year mark since the first case was detected in the US, COVID continues to be just another part of every day.

“Well it is what it is at this point and we just have to keep pushing through it. And just control what we do, because we can’t really control what anyone else does,” Daniel Cooutier said.

On Sunday Baystate reporter 156 hospitalizations within the Baystate system.

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