CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The City of Chicopee is cracking down on coronavirus protocols after the city’s first confirmed death from the virus.
Chicopee now has 51 confirmed cases and one resident has died from the virus.
Now, local officials, including Chicopee Police Department's spokesperson Michael Wilk, are correcting protocols already in place to help stop the spread.
Residents in Chicopee are mourning the city’s first death from COVID-19.
"Chicopee is a close-knit community, so when someone passes from something like this it hits everyone pretty hard, it is a first responder's grandmother who passed away so it hits closer to home," Wilk explained.
With 51 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the city, Wilk said officers are cracking down to help keep people safe.
"This is serious, this virus is serious, it’s spreading, it’s our first loss in the city and it’s hard, so everything we’re doing we’re trying to prevent it from spreading, we don’t want people to keep getting sick," Wilk explained.
Officials are limiting the number of people in essential stores.
Wilk said Stop & Shop is reduced from 200 to 170 people.
Big Y and Price Right have a limit of 120.
Walmart, BJ’s and Home Depot remain at a capacity of 200.
While CVS and Walgreens, Wilk said will be a maximum of 20 customers in the store at all times with all non-essential isles blocked off.
"We understand this is a difficult time, it’s not our intention to stop these businesses, we know it’s people’s livelihood, their incomes, but we have to look out for everyone’s safety so we have to do things to stop this virus from spreading," Wilk noted.
In addition to the new guidelines, he is also asking for businesses that are for sale or have already closed before the coronavirus hit to check stockpiles to see if there are any items they can donate like N95 masks, kits, or gloves.
"These are places that people might not have thought of when this all started and they might have them in there," Wilk explained.
And he said on Saturday, one business already stepped in to help.
"We were able to get 60 N95 masks, and 5 Tyvek suits, which will protect our officers," Wilk noted.
If anyone has any items you can donate you’re asked to contact the Chicopee Police Department and they will arrange to pick them up from your home or business.