Westfield COVID-19 rate continues to creep up

WESTFIELD – The COVID-19 infection rate in Westfield continues to creep upwards as the city’s Health Department reported 16 new cases in a week. 

The July 28 report showed 24 Westfield residents in isolation with active cases of COVID-19. Zero deaths were reported in the reporting period. Westfield has not had a recorded COVID-19 death in several months. 113 Westfield residents are known to have died from the virus. 

The 16 new cases brings Westfield’s pandemic total to 3,138.

Health Director Joseph Rouse did not immediately return a request for comment. 

The rise in the number of new weekly cases comes just a few weeks removed from Westfield’s pandemic low of just one case in a single week. It echoes a rise in cases across the country as vaccination efforts stall and the more infectious Delta Variant becomes the dominant variant. 

Though New England as a whole has the highest vaccination rate in the U.S., Hampden County has consistently had the lowest vaccination rate in Massachusetts. In Westfield, 53 percent of the city’s approximately 42,000 residents have received at least one shot of any of the approved vaccines. 48 percent of Westfield residents are fully vaccinated. President Joseph R. Biden had set a national goal of getting 70 percent of Americans vaccinated by July 4.

Though Massachusetts as a whole has a relatively high vaccination rate, at least one part of the state has made national headlines as a COVID-19 outbreak there grows out of control. 

As of July 28, the Provincetown COVID-19 cluster had grown to 833 cases, days after a local mask mandate was put in place in response to the growing cluster. Many of the initially reported cases in the cluster were reported to have been among vaccinated people following a July 4 celebration in the town. 

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