WESTFIELD- The Health Departments of Westfield and Southwick both continued to report low numbers of new COVID-19 infections in the past week as the state moves towards phase 3 of the reopening plan at the end of the month.
Westfield’s Health Department reported an increase of three new cases in the last week, bringing the total to 442.
Southwick Health Director Tammy Spencer said on Thursday that Southwick had two new confirmed cases in the same period of time. One hundred Southwick residents were tested. The total number of infected residents is now 56.
As the number of new daily cases continues to fall, so do the number of active cases. Of Westfield’s 442 total cases, just five are considered to be active, meaning that the patients have not completed quarantine or have not yet tested negative for the virus.
In Southwick, the number of active cases was confirmed to be two by Spencer. One of the individuals with an active case however was hospitalized due to the virus.
Westfield Health Director Joseph Rouse said Friday that he expects that municipalities in the state will begin to see at least a slight increase in cases as the reopening process moves forward. Southwick Board of Health member Dr. Jerry Azia expressed a similar sentiment in Thursday evening’s Board of Health meeting.
“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.
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.
“We are able to isolate and quarantine people very quickly,” said Rouse.
He said that the Health Department has been conducting contact tracing for new cases to determine if a newly infected person unknowingly infected others. While they do contact tracing to find individuals who may now be infected, they do not trace backwards, meaning they cannot look back to determine where and how one got infected in the first place.
“The only time you look beyond the direct contacts of the confirmed would be in the workplace,” said Rouse, “We would get in touch with HR to see if there are any close contacts in that environment.”