Advertisement

COVID-19 test sites seeing increase in traffic as number of cases rise

Just last week, the city saw an increase of almost 200 positive COVID-19 cases. City health leaders are once again urging people to mask up when in large crowds
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 5:30 PM EDT|Updated: May. 18, 2022 at 7:13 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The Eastfield Mall COVID-19 testing site is seeing an increase in the number of people lining up to get tested as two Springfield city leaders have tested positive for the virus and as cases continue to trend upwards in the city over the last eight weeks.

Just last week, the city saw an increase of almost 200 positive COVID-19 cases. City health leaders are once again urging people to mask up when in large crowds.

“Over the last eight weeks, we have seen a sustainable increase,” said Springfield Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris.

Over the last two months, the city of Springfield has seen a rise in positive COVID-19 cases. Just in the last month, the cases have tripled in numbers.

Cases as of last week stood at 713 cases, an increase of 191 cases from the previous week when cases totaled 522.

Going back further, at the end of April, cases stood at 350 and in mid-April, there were 250 cases.

“These cases are concerning. Our hospitalizations are increasing and we are seeing our youth number increase,” Caulton-Harris added.

Caulton-Harris said they have seen a 44.3 percent increase among those 30 and under and most concerning, she said, is an almost 30-percent increase among those 51 and older.

“And again, the concern is that, that is the age group that would potentially wind up being hospitalized because they are more at-risk,” Caulton-Harris explained.

Meanwhile, we asked Caulton-Harris if there is concern the city could see an even greater spike in cases following this past weekend’s World’s Largest Pancake Breakfast.

“All of the things we celebrate at this time of the year could be an increase at risk,” Caulton-Harris noted.

She encouraged anyone who is gathering for prom, graduation, or any other large events to mask up.

Meanwhile, the American Medical Response COVID-19 testing site at the Eastfield Mall has also seen the effects of more people contracting the virus. Operations Manager Patrick Leonardo told Western Mass News that over the last four to six weeks, more cars have been lining at the site.

“We have gone from a couple of hundred tests daily to 500 tests,” Leonardo noted.

Leonardo said many people are coming to the site, trying to rule out if their symptoms are associated with allergies, the flu, or COVID-19.

“A lot of people don’t really know what is happening right now, so they want to get tested. They think it’s allergies and then they test positive for COVID,” Caulton-Harris said.

Leonardo told us that the Eastfield Mall testing site has been approved to stay open through August.