Officials asking Springfield residents to limit holiday gatherings after 45 new COVID cases

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and city health officials held a COVID-19 update meeting for the city Monday morning.

Mayor Sarno said the COVID-19 numbers in the city are looking a little bit better. Over the weekend there were eight cases on Friday 15 on Saturday, and 22 on Sunday for a weekend total of 45 confirmed cases. There is now a total of 3,654 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Springfield and 132 deaths.

As of last Wednesday, Springfield was listed as a high-risk COVID-19 area for the second week. As of October 14, Springfield has had 319 cases in the last 14 days. As cases continue to rise among younger adults, Mayor Sarno stressed that no one is immune to the disease.

He said, “Our numbers are showing 30 years and under. It’s encompassing 39 percent of positive COVID-19 tests, 31 to 50 years old, 37 percent. That’s 76 percent, 50 or under. So the numbers have shifted drastically from the beginning of this, so no one, especially our young people who think they’re invincible, they are not.”

Mayor Sarno is encouraging people to continue practicing mitigation measures such as wearing face masks, social distancing, and also taking advantage of free flu shots. City officials are also urging everyone to limit the number of people at holiday gatherings this year.

“Patience is a virtue and sometimes I don’t have obviously but you need to have it,” the mayor said. “Think of yourself and your family members and child that could be affected.”

Helen Caulton-Harris, the city’s Health and Human Services commissioner added, “We are seeing a lot of license plates in the city of Springfield from individuals from states that are not exempt and We would ask if you do have relatives visiting, to your family and yourself safe. Understand the risk that’s involved.”

Caulton-Harris is also reminding residents that door-to-door trick or treating is not allowed. Instead, the city recommends online parties and contests, or drive-by events. As for hospitals, Baystate Health is beginning to see a rise in COVID patients once again.

“For the first time in about six weeks at Baystate, we have more than 20 patients in our inpatient units, only one in our ICU,” said Dr. Mark Keroack, president and CEO of Baystate Health. “So it does appear that the surge in cases, mostly in younger people is beginning to be reflected in hospitalized patients who are more elderly and at high risk.”

Health experts are also continuing to ask everyone to get a flu shot as soon as possible.

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