EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Easthampton Health Department released their weekly COVID-19 dashboard, showing a spike in the 7-day positivity rate.

Easthampton is currently at a 20.2 percent 7-day test positivity rate, up from 9.8 percent last week. From December 29 to January 6, there were 507 active cases of COVID-19 in Easthampton and 346 new cases reported. The full report can be found on the Easthampton Health Department Facebook page.

Megan Harvey of the Easthampton Health Department says these numbers are significantly underreported and guesses 4-5% of the community are actively infected. Harvey issued the following estimated of COVID-19 cases in Easthampton:

  • There are probably about 250 folks in Easthampton who are infected but entirely asymptomatic.
  • There are probably about another 200 who are sick, who feel like they have something between a cold and the worst flu they’ve ever had, but they’re fine to ride it out at home.
  • There are probably about 100 who are really very sick, who are in touch with their health care providers, arranging for visits and monitoring and treatment.
  • Unfortunately, probably around 10 folks in our community who need to be hospitalized.

The Health Department recommended residents get a well fitting mask, such as a N95, KN95, or KF94 mask, to help reduce the spread. Cotton and cloth masks do not provide enough protection, according to the health department. KF94 masks are available to Easthampton residents in both adult and child sizes by emailing health@easthamptonma.gov or call 413-529-1400 ext. 123.

COVID-19 drive-thru test site in Easthampton schedule:

  • Monday – 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday – 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday – No testing
  • Thursday – 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Friday – 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Due to a recent change, Massachusetts hospitals will now differentiate between COVID-19 positive patients and those that come into the hospital for other reasons and test positive after they arrive. The reporting update aims to provide the public with a clearer sense of the severity of the Omicron variant. It also aims to demonstrate how the new cases correlate to severe illness that require hospitalization.

Officials at the Department of Public Health say 94 percent of medical/surgical beds in Massachusetts are occupied and 87 percent of ICU beds are full, which is a major concern for state leaders at this time.

According to the report, 78.9 percent of Easthampton residents are fully vaccinated and 88.5 percent have received at least one dose. To find a vaccine location near you visit VaxFinder.mass.gov.