Local COVID infections remain low as U.S. sees largest daily surges in cases nationally

WESTFIELD- As the country experiences its largest day-to-day confirmed infection rates since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Westfield, Southwick, and much of the northeast continue its trend of lowering case numbers.

The City of Westfield saw six new COVID-19 infections in the past week bringing the total to 448. 

In Southwick, just three COVID-19 were confirmed, bringing the total to 59, with just four active cases according to Health Director Tammy Spencer.  

Both Westfield and Southwick had a slight increase in the number of new infections from the previous week, but not enough to be considered statistically significant. 

Westfield Health Director Joseph Rouse and Southwick Board of Health member Dr. Jerry Azia both said last week that they expect the number of new local cases to increase slightly as Massachusetts continues with the phased reopening process, but that it should be no cause for concern. 

“Once people start having more contact with each other, you’re going to have a spike in the number. That wouldn’t be surprising and would also likely be temporary,” said Rouse last Friday.

He continued by saying that a consistent increase in the number of daily new cases would be a cause for concern, but he said he is confident that it could be contained quickly if that were to happen.

Phase 3 is expected to begin no sooner than early July.

While Massachusetts continues to reopen, other states are seeing significant surges in the number of daily confirmed infections. Texas, Florida, Arizona, and other states that reopened relatively quickly are seeing their biggest spikes in infections since the pandemic began. 

As a result, the governors of Texas and Florida both ordered the reopening process to move backwards. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the reopening process to pause and for all bars to close to combat the spread of the virus in the state on Friday. Florida followed soon after. 

More than two million people in the United States have been infected with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. As of Friday, June 26, 127,000 Americans are known to have died due to COVID-19, including 53 people in Westfield and two people in Southwick.

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