SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and city health officials provided an update on the city’s response to the coronavirus on Monday morning.
According to Mayor Sarno, there are 866 new COVID-19 cases since last week. AMR Testing was not performed on Wednesday, December 23, Thursday, December 24 or Friday, December 25 because of the holiday.
Additionally, there will be no AMR testing Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday of this week due to the holiday.
Mayor Sarno urged the public to keep gatherings small and limit contact with individuals outside of the household.
During the update, Mayor Sarno read a statement from Mercy Medical Chief Medical Officer and Regional Chief, Addiction Medicine and Recovery Services Dr. Robert Roose. There are currently 23 patients with the COVID-19 infection at Mercy Hospital and one of those individuals is in the ICU. Mercy Hospital is eager to receive more vaccine doses and to continue vaccinating healthcare workers.
Baystate Health President and CEO Dr. Mark Keroack said the virus is still spreading rapidly across the county. Within Baystate Health between 500 – 800 healthcare workers are being vaccinated daily. Dr. Keroack said those who have been vaccinated have experienced sore arms and occasional flu-like symptoms. Baystate health will continue to follow state and federal guidelines for the administration of the vaccine.
Health Commissioner Helen Caulton Harris said the City of Springfield is experiencing a surge in cases and that surge is expected to continue through the holiday. The city will continue to enforce a 14-day quarantine.
Superintendent of Schools Dan Warwick announced that over 5 million meals have been distributed. Warwick also said that a survey was done and 75% of parents are reluctant to send children back to in-person learning. The district has avoided lay-offs throughout the entire pandemic.
Other topics discussed:
- Trash pick-up will be moved to Saturday from the holiday and the DPW will announce shortly when Christmas tree pick-up will take place.
- Two suspects are in custody following a carjacking that took place over the weekend.
- The FBI is involved in a fire that took place early Monday morning at the Martin Luther King Jr. Presbyterian Church in Mason Square.
As of December 24, Springfield has a total of 10,159 COVID-19 cases, 1,837 of those were in the last 14 days. Springfield is among 20 cities and towns that are now listed as a red zone, meaning those areas have seen an uptick of 25 or more COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days.