Slight uptick in local COVID rate as Delta Variant spreads

WESTFIELD – After experiencing a pandemic low in COVID-19 infection rates in recent weeks, local communities are seeing a slight uptick in cases as the Delta Variant spreads throughout the country. 

The City of Westfield recorded 10 new infections from July 15 to July 21, with nine active cases in isolation as of July 21. Westfield had recorded just one case in a week earlier in July, the lowest weekly infection rate for the city since the first cases were detected in March 2020. Westfield’s pandemic total is 3,122 cases and 113 deaths. Westfield has not recorded a COVID-19 related death in several months. 

In Southwick, with a population about one-fifth the size of Westfield’s, three COVID-19 cases were recorded between July 16 and July 22, to bring the town’s pandemic total to 631.

Southwick Health Director Tammy Spencer said that she is not provided with the vaccination status of positive cases in Southwick, so she does not know if those who were infected were vaccinated. 

Hampden County has the lowest overall vaccination rate in Massachusetts. The Commonwealth vaccination rate is 57 percent of eligible persons being fully vaccinated, while 49 percent of Hampden County residents are fully vaccinated. 

In Westfield, 22,240 residents had received at least one shot, and 20,346 people had received both shots, or the single shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine as of July 22. Those figures equal 53 percent and 48 percent of Westfield’s population respectively. 

In Southwick, 5,219 residents, or 53 percent, had received at least one dose. There were 4,815 residents, or 49 percent, ully vaccinated as of July 22.

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