DPH: Virus cases rose in Southwick last week

SOUTHWICK — The Department of Public Health reported 19 new COVID-19 cases in Southwick last week, to bring the town’s pandemic case total to 681.

Health Director Tammy Spencer said Aug. 30 that there have been no new COVID-19 related deaths reported to her in Southwick, so that total remains at seven. Spencer said that 18 Southwick residents were in isolation with active cases of COVID-19 as of Aug. 30.

The spike in cases brings Southwick back into the “high risk” category for Massachusetts cities and towns. Though the state no longer uses that system to track infection rates in individual communities, Spencer said she has continued using it for Southwick because she thinks it helps give people a better understanding of whether the situation is good or bad.

Though the number of new cases rose last week, Spencer said that Southwick is not yet in a state of community spread. She said most of the cases are among multiple people in individual households, though she said there were some outliers.

“There is nobody that we have seen that is linked to dozens of contacts,” said Spencer.

The Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District, like every public school district in Massachusetts, now will be subject to a universal mask mandate. When it comes to indoor mask mandates for the community at large, that decision is being left to individual communities, rather than the state.

Spencer said that she would consider a mask mandate for Southwick if there was community spread being detected in Southwick businesses, but that has not been the case yet.

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