Residents concerned as more western Massachusetts areas become high risk for COVID-19

Coronavirus Local Impact

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – According to the latest COVID-19 risk map there are now 40 Massachusetts communities in the red and considered “high risk.” Four of them are in western Massachusetts.

“People started talking in the spring that it was likely that we would see an increase of cases in the fall,” Governor Baker said at a recent press conference.

DPH: Latest COVID-19 map shows 4 high-risk areas in western Massachusetts

Springfield, Holyoke, Sunderland and Amherst are in the red after each area saw a significant rise in its average daily case rate over the past two weeks.

To be designated high risk, there must be at least 8 cases per 100,000 residents. Towns and cities in the red would be delayed to enter the 2nd step of Phase 3 in the Massachusetts reopening plan. If a community stays red for three weeks, they would either remain in or go back to Phase 3 Step 1.

22News spoke with one Ludlow resident who’s worried about the surrounding towns that are now at high risk.

“If you’re sick, stay home. Because if you go out and go shopping, whether you wear a mask or not, you are still at risk,” says Josephine Desousa. “You should protect yourself and think about the next person next to you because they can catch it from you not even knowing that you have it.”

According to the Baker-Polito Administration, low risk communities that are in the gray, yellow and green for three straight weeks can move to the next phase.

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