Residents on high alert as COVID cases spike in western Massachusetts

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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A sharp rise in COVID-19 cases has local residents on high alert.

Westfield, Monson, Buckland and Chicopee are all now considered high risk communities for COVID-19 infection.

7 western Massachusetts communities at high-risk for COVID-19, DPH map shows

“Of course it bothers me but we take all the precautions,” said Richard Jette of Chicopee.

Most of the recent cases have been a result of people not following the COVID-19 mask and social distancing guidelines. And some are still hosting large parties.

22New spoke with one local resident about whether they would go to a larger gathering at a house right now.

“No, not right now. No,” said Marcus McPhail of Chicopee. “I have been more concerned with working and taking care of myself during this time.”

The city of Chicopee has seen a significant increase in COVID-19 cases the last few weeks. Chicopee Mayor John Vieu acknowledged this and said if this keeps up, the schools and business community would take a huge step back.

We implore everyone in our community to follow the CDC social distancing guidelines. We all have a role in keeping each other safe. Please take your role seriously, we have the opportunity to change this outcome.

John Vieu, Mayor of Chicopee

Dr. Esteban DelPilar, an Infectious Disease Specialist at Baystate Health, warns, “Just because we are anxious doesn’t mean we should let our guard down and stop doing the things we know for a fact protect your family and friends.”

“Everybody has to do their part,” McPhail continued. “To care about other people, that’s where we’ll get better in the long run.”

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