SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – A recent update to the COVID-19 color map shows that South Hadley is considered high risk for the transmission of the coronavirus.
Most of the 18 confirmed cases were linked to a group of 19-21-year-old South Hadley residents who attended a private indoor event in another town.
According to the Baker-Polito Administration, the town is now the only community in western Massachusetts labeled as high risk on the color-coded COVID-19 map.
High risk communities are colored red when there are more than eight cases per 100,000 residents. South Hadley now has 208 confirmed cases.
22News spoke with a South Hadley resident who wasn’t surprised to hear about an uptick in cases.
“I wasn’t surprised because there were spikes in other areas such as Holyoke and Granby. Of course I am concerned but of course i’m being cautious,” Adriane Racine said.
This isn’t the only report of a large gathering this summer. Several have taken place across the state including one on Cape Cod in July that was a gathering of nearly 50 people.
The State Department of Public Health said outdoor gatherings can happen they just need to be held safely.
Racine told 22News she is having a celebration for her child’s birthday this weekend.
“We’re keeping the numbers small at our gathering. I have a little girl who is turning four so of course, she wants to celebrate. We’re doing it outdoors and asking everyone to wear a mask,” Racine said.
South Hadley’s Town Administrator recommends residents practice good hand hygiene, wearing a face covering and social distancing when possible.