Springfield elevated to high risk on COVID-19 map, halts reopening plans

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – In just one month the state has raised Springfield from a “Green” COVID-19 community to “Red” after a spike of cases in the city.

“In the last three days we’ve had 51 cases,” said Helen Caulton-Harris, commissioner of Springfield Health and Human Services. “As the mayor indicated, there were 26 yesterday.”

The zip codes with the highest spike in case numbers since Monday are 01109 increasing in 13 cases, 01108 adding 10 cases, and 01104 with 7 additional cases.

“This virus, I will say it again, is a killer,” said Caulton-Harris. “It kills and even if you get sick and recover there could potentially be long lasting chronic disease affects.”

For Springfield’s reopening, being in the “red” means that businesses and gathering sizes must stay at Phase 3 Step 1 guidelines.

“So some of the things that the governor had indicated with the restaurants being 10 at a table, unfortunately, cannot be done,” said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

Sharon Dorsey of Springfield told 22News that she’s not worried about businesses as much as she worries about people’s lives.

“I’m not worried about that because I’m not going to any of those places anyway,” said Dorsey. “I finally did the outdoor dining thing and when I got back home I didn’t even feel comfortable about that.”

Phase 3, Step 2 was supposed to start on Monday and included increased gathering sizes and opening of performance venues. Once the city stays out of the “red” for 3 weeks, they can move to the next phase.

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