Holyoke, Granby designated high risk locations for COVID-19 in western Massachusetts

Coronavirus Local Impact

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The state has designated Holyoke and Granby as extremely high risk when it comes to COVID-19 on their new map.

The map is done by cases per 100,000 people in the last two weeks, which put both communities into the high risk category.

“They’re trying to use that number as a risk factor of how likely you are to get the infection if you’re in that particular town,” said Infectious Disease Dr. Esteban Del-Pilar Morales.

Dr. Morales says the high numbers may be from the high number of nursing homes and large shopping centers in both areas.

However, how will these numbers impact school reopening? The Department of Secondary and Elementary Education recommended to school leaders that any municipality that is designated as high risk, red on the map, should begin school remotely.

Eugene Flemming Jr. of Chicopee agrees, “I think they should listen to the scientists and go with they say because they know, they’re doing the research they have the data. We have our emotions, we have our feelings. When you look at your child, I’m not sending him there, but if the scientists, who are you going to trust? I basically comes down to it.”

Holyoke’s school committee did vote to start completely remote but they’re waiting for a final decision from the state.

“You look at what happened in Georgia, 1,500 kids recalled, and you’re going into the same environments. What’s going to be the difference here,” Flemming said.

The data looks at the numbers of cases over the past two weeks. The information around why Holyoke and Granby are so high on the list are being investigated.

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