SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and city officials provided residents with an update on the coronavirus Monday morning.
Mayor Sarno started off the meeting giving thanks to local first responders, volunteers, and leaders who have been helping through this pandemic.
- 45 positive COVID-19 cases in Springfield
- 222 positive cases at Baystate Health
- Sarno stresses the need for N95 masks for hospitals and city employees
- Over 20,000 meals were provided to local family and children in need
Dr. Mark Keroack, CEO of Baystate Health
1,384 people have been tested for the coronavirus by Baystate Health. Of those tested, 870 have come back negative while 222 tests were positive. There are still 292 tests that are pending results. Keroack mentioned in-house testing will begin in Baystate’s main lab in Holyoke this week at a level of 200 tests a day. Baystate has received numerous PPE donations since last Monday.
Keroack said as of Sunday, 3,500 Baystate employees are working from home. Creative surge planning is in place such as utilizing operating rooms as ICUs. Keroack believes the hospital will eventually get up to 500 standard beds and 150 ICU beds.
Dr. Robert Roose, chief medical officer at Mercy Medical Center
Dr. Roose explains it is possible for those who are asymptomatic, people who are not showing symptoms may be able to transmit this infection to others. Because of this, Mercy Medical Center has revised its guidance for the use of PPE. Healthcare workers who are working with those undergoing testings should always wear a surgical mask and in other areas employees are allowed to wear masks.
536 patients have been tested as of Monday, March 30. Of those 536 cases, 72 have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 and 259 negative. 205 tests are still pending results. “The turnaround time continues to improve but is not yet where we need it to be,” Dr. Roose said. In-house testing will become available in the upcoming weeks.
Health Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris
Health Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris reported that there are 45 positive cases in Springfield.
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, there have been 4,495 positive cases reported out of all of the tests that have been done. Harris adds numbers will increasing continue to rise and urges everyone to follow given guidelines to make a measurable difference.
“This is impacting us in ways we cannot even imagine,” Caulton-Harris said.
Superintendent Daniel Warwick
On Friday, over 20,000 meals were distributed to over 4,000 students. With the support of the mayor and school committee, laptops are beginning to be distributed to families that will allow proper access for students to complete their homework. Counselors have been reaching out to those who are facing emotional distress due to the pandemic.
Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood
Four Springfield officers have tested positive for COVID-19 and are recovering. During the beginning of the news conference, Sarno mentioned the police department was down 22 officers, however, as Clapprood stated it is now 23 as of Monday. Twelve officers are awaiting test results.
Starting Tuesday, Clapprood is expecting additional help from state police who will act as a backup for officers. “Requests for state police and National guard assistance may come out should the Springfield Police Department start to dwindle,” Clapprood said.
Springfield Fire Commissioner B.J. Calvi
All firehouses are currently fully staffed and open but closed for visitors. Four members are out on self-quarantine and one member returned back to duty Monday as another left. Calvi reminds everyone to safely cook and use candles with precaution.
When there is a structure fire, there is no way members are able to self distance themselves. Calvi also added it’s important to identify whether you have COVID-19 symptoms when calling 911.
Mayor Sarno states the following:
I have been in constant contact with our public health and safety officials regarding the Governor’s decision of declaring a state of emergency to help address the COVID-19 situation. All of our city departments continue to take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the public.
Under the leadership of our Health Commissioner Helen CaultonHarris, our Health and Human Services Department continues to work with our local health care providers and monitor the situation and adhere to the precautionary measures and guidance that are issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and the CDC.
Again, I am very proud of our city team. We have been tried and tested through a number ofMayor Domenic Sarno
natural and man-made disasters and we have prevailed. We will continue to take a measured
approach and as long as everyone uses common sense measurers and adheres to any public health precautionary advisories, we will get through this together.