Southwick reports 18 new COVID-19 cases

SOUTHWICK- The Town of Southwick reported 18 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 this week as the town retains its “high risk” designation for the fifth straight week. 

The 18 new cases brings Southwick’s pandemic total to 256 cases. Health Director Tammy Spencer said that one Southwick resident passed away from COVID-19 last week. Five people in Southwick have now died due to the virus. 

Public Health Nurse Kate Johnson said during the remote Board of Health meeting Dec. 17 that 18 people were in isolation and 13 people were in quarantine. She also said that one person was hospitalized and two other people were transported to emergency rooms in the last week. 

Though the number of weekly cases remains high relative to the spring and summer in Southwick, Johnson said that the number of cases are trending down week-to-week. She said that Southwick has a positivity rate of 6.54 percent while Hampden County as a whole is at 8.55 percent. 

“The county is creeping up and we are creeping lower,” said Johnson. 

She said there is no particular age group or demographic that is being infected more than others. Most of the time it is whole families being infected at once.

Westfield State University reported zero new weekly COVID-19 cases for the first time in weeks. Westfield State returned to remote learning in November after the outbreak on campus grew out of control and quarantine space ran out. Just a couple hundred students remain on campus because they have coursework that cannot be done remotely. 126 positive cases had been detected at Westfield State since students first returned to campus on Sept. 29.

The City of Westfield reported 117 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and one additional death this week, matching the previous weekly record for new infections set two weeks bago. The city has now had 1,285 confirmed cases and 80 deaths since the start of the pandemic. There were 155 people in isolation as of Thursday. 

Across the state the number of daily infections remains high. On Friday, Dec. 11, 5,475 cases were reported in Massachusetts, which was the highest single day case count for the week. The percent-positivity rate statewide from Dec. 10 to Dec. 17 was 5.33 percent.

Nationally the spread of COVID-19 continues to be out of control. On Wednesday, Dec. 16 the U.S. reported more than 250,000 COVID-19 cases for the first time, with hospital space and staff becoming constrained across the country due to the surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

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