NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Northampton’s Health Department issued a health advisory Monday.

According to a news release sent to 22News by the City of Northampton’s Mayor’s office, the advisory comes as the Northampton Health Department reports 355 COVID-19 cases from December 20 to January 2. The incident rate for COVID-19 infection in Northampton is 90 cases per day per 100,000 people.

“Hand sanitizer, wipes, things like that. Really making sure people are keeping their masks on when they’re inside,” said David Dunn of Northampton.

Northampton’s Public Health Director Merridith O’Leary states, “Our cases and hospitalizations are substantially higher than they have been at any point during the pandemic, and they continue to climb. While most people will have mild or moderate symptoms and will not require hospitalization, as a community we need to try to decrease transmission to protect the most vulnerable among us, reduce the burden on and stabilize our healthcare system, and ensure a continued workforce in general.” 

The advisory calls for the public to take increased precautions. It advises the public to:

  1. Get a COVID-19 vaccine and a booster if eligible.
  2. Stay home as mush as possible.
  3. Refrain from unnecessary indoor social activities with people from other households, including family members who do not live with you.
  4. Those with any new symptoms of illness, no matter how mild, stay home and get tested.
  5. Those who test positive, have new symptoms and have not yet had a test, or have been exposed to COVID, follow the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/isolation-and-quarantine-guidance-for-the-general-public
  6. Those who only have access to home antigen tests, make sure you adhere to manufacturer directions to increase accuracy of results. Children under 15 years old as well as adults with certain physical, cognitive, or other disabilities should have the test performed for them. Most home antigen tests have minimum age restrictions (eg. 2 years old), please read manufacturer directions carefully. Be advised that positive test lines may appear very faint; inspect the testing strip closely at the end of the 15-minute or other manufacturer-specified testing time period. 
  7. Those at risk of severe disease and have new symptoms or exposure, are advised to alert your health care provider as soon as possible. Treatments may be available to decrease one’s risk of severe disease and hospitalization, but they need to be administered early in the course of disease.
  8. Those that need to be in an indoor public setting are asked to wear a high quality mask that fits over your nose and mouth snugly AND that provides good filtration of virus particles
  9. Clean your hands with soap and water, or with hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol after touching high-touch surfaces

“I’ve been taking my own precautions, you know I even have hand sanitizer on my back so It’s not really bothering me to to much,” said Dunn.

Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton reported 25 patients hospitalized as of Tuesday and is the highest census of COVID-19 patients the hospital has ever experienced.

Courtesy of the City of Northampton

Cooley Dickinson Testing Centers are located in at the Urgent Care Clinics in Amherst, Northampton, and Southampton by appointment only. Appointments are available at the following times and locations:

  • Amherst and Southampton: Mon-Fri, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm; Sat-Sun 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
  • Northampton (CDH): Mon-Fri, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, Sat-Sun 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Currently within Baystate Health, there are 249 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 as of Tuesday.