HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia held a news conference Friday morning to address COVID-19 concerns.

The Mayor and Health Director are urging residents to mask up but won’t require it for now. However, this could change, if cases keep going up at the rate they have been.

Holyoke’s new mayor Joshua Garcia led Friday’s news conference right outside his office in city hall. The health director revealed a 100 percent increase in COVID-19 cases in a one week period, new cases jumping from 50 last week to 107. Garcia said they will continue to monitor cases, but for now they don’t think a mask mandate is necessary.

Mayor Garcia told 22News, “If we do have to implement a mask mandate, I don’t know if its a popular thing. I certainly don’t want to see it either but its not something we will be afraid to implement if we have too.”

Masks will continue to be required in Holyoke school buildings. Holyoke’s Superintendent said Friday they are working to increase their attendance rate which has fallen 6 percent in the last two years. Per DESE, remote learning is not an option for Massachusetts schools.

The city is receiving 25,000 new testing kids that’ll be distributed to schools and community agencies. They hope regular testing and more vaccinations prevent the spread of infection. Sixty-two percent of Holyoke residents are fully vaccinated, that’s about 13 percent less than the state’s rate.