Westfield has slight bump in COVID-19 cases

WESTFIELD- The Health Department reported a rise in the number of new COVID-19 cases with 44 new infections this week to bring the city’s pandemic total to 3,042.

Thirty-seven Westfield residents were reported to be in isolation due to COVID-19 as of May 6. For the fifth week in a row, no Westfield residents have died from COVID-19. The pandemic total for deaths in Westfield stands at 113. 

Health Director Joseph Rouse said that the reason the number of people reported to be in isolation is lower than the number of new cases is that some of the newly confirmed cases had not been officially given isolation orders yet. 

“It’s kind of a technicality, but they will be in the system by next week,” said Rouse. 

Rouse said that he thinks the rise in cases could be explained by people traveling during school vacation week in April. He said that there are no major clusters in Westfield, but that multiple family members within households are becoming infected. He said there is no specific evidence pointing to travel as the main cause, but that the timing of the rise in cases is a strong indication of that being the case. 

“We are looking at the data, and we don’t necessarily have anyone telling us that they travelled,” said Rouse, “Just like with the holiday gatherings, we can’t definitively say that is what caused the rise in infections. But when you see that happen there is just a reasonable correlation.”

The 44 people who tested positive this week were a wide range of ages. Rouse said that those infected were ages seven through 72, with a wide distribution of ages in between.

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