SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Board of Health has issued a mask advisory Friday for those with underlying health conditions after seeing an increase in COVID-19 throughout the city.

Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris says the city has seen a steady increase in COVID-19 cases over the past six weeks but hospitalization numbers have remained stable. Masks are not required but are recommended for people with chronic diseases or those who are immune-compromised.

  • Week of April 24, 2022 – 350 cases
  • Week of April 17, 2022 – 250 cases
  • Week of April 10, 2022 – 218 cases
  • Week of April 3, 2022 – 137 cases
  • Week of March 27, 2022 – 115 cases
  • Week of March 20, 2022 – 71 cases

In a statement sent to 22News, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said, “Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris and I will continue to push the COVID-19 vaccine and boost shots for our residents. Although our critical hospital numbers are stable, this steady uptick of COVID-19 cases is concerning and we want to remain proactive and preventative instead of waiting to react to the situation when it could be much worse. As such, our Department of Health and Human Services and the Board of Health are issuing this mask advisory, especially for those who may be at high risk and with underlying health conditions. I want to be clear, this is not a mask mandate; we are not there – yet.  It is our hope that we will continue to increase our vaccination numbers and that those critical hospital numbers remain manageable.”

“As we continue to see a troubling trend of increasing cases, the City of Springfield Department of Health and Human Services and the Board of Health is issuing this mask advisory. I cannot stress enough, that this virus is here to stay and we must all remain vigilant.  This is not a sprint; this is a marathon and unless we get vaccinated we are at risk. The Department of Health and Human Services will continue to work with all of our community partners to make sure that this life-saving vaccine is readily available for everyone. There is still much work to do but together I have the full confidence that if we remain vigilant and take the appropriate actions that are needed we will get through this stronger and healthier. Again, I ask all of our residents, young and old, to get your vaccine and booster shots,” said Caulton-Harris.

COVID-19 vaccines continue to be offered at several locations in Springfield.:

Berkshire and Franklin Counties are now among the 79 counties nationwide with a high level of spread according to the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, while Hampden and Hampshire Counties are listed as having a “medium” level of spread.

People in areas with “medium” COVID levels are advised to wear a mask on public transportation, as well as if they have symptoms. They also advise masking if you are at high risk for severe illness.

22News spoke to people in Hampden county about their reactions to this advisory, many saying they are tired of the masks.

“I thought we were in the clear so, to be honest with you I haven’t worn a mask in a long time. So the numbers going back up is a little nervous for me it makes me a little nervous,” said Therese Distefano of West Springfield.

“I’m tired of it to be quite honest with you. And I know a lot of people are I guess they are getting sick of it I know I am,” said Christopher Smith of Agawam.

Hampden and Hampshire Counties are listed as having a medium risk level of spread.