SOUTHWICK – Southwick Health Director Tammy Spencer reported 20 new COVID-19 cases this week, bringing the pandemic total for the town to 385.
Spencer said during the Local Emergency Management Committee (LEMC) meeting Jan. 28 that most of the cases detected in Southwick so far this month were found in the first couple of weeks in the immediate wake of Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
“It was a pretty negative trend, but now it is looking good,” said Spencer.
The town has been considered a high risk community every week since Nov. 19.
The leveling off of weekly COVID-19 cases in Southwick reflects a larger trend happening in Massachusetts and across most of the country. Southwick reported 34 cases from Jan. 8 to Jan. 15, the pandemic high for the town in a one-week period. Since then the number of cases on average has lowered, but remained steady.
Spencer said during the LEMC meeting that Southwick has largely been relying on the state’s Contact Tracing Collaborative (CTC) for close contacts of confirmed cases. She said that Public Health Nurse Kate Johnson has been handling the actually confirmed cases in the town.
On Monday, Feb. 1, Phase 2 of the state’s vaccine rollout plan will begin on a much earlier timeline than originally expected. The first group of people to be eligible for Phase 2 will be those aged 75 and older. To begin accommodating the likely increase in the number of eligible people seeking vaccines, the state has begun opening up mass vaccination sites across the commonwealth.
The Eastfield Mall in Springfield, where vaccine administration began on Friday, is the closest site to Westfield and Southwick. The Eastfield Mall had already been a mass COVID-19 testing site.