Westfield Newsroom


Chair, Westfield Board of Health

By Juanita Carnes FNP, Board of Health chair and Joe Rouse, health director

Sunday, February 14th, a tribute in remembrance of our community members who lost their lives to COVID was held on the Park Square Green. 96 candles shined representing each life lost. A small gesture in comparison to the grief felt by their families and friends. As many know, grieving during the pandemic is a lonely process. Please safely reach out to those experiencing any loss with a kind word, text, email, card, letter, phone call or socially distanced visit.

As of February 17th, 56,281,827 doses of the 72,423,125 doses of the delivered COVID-19 vaccines delivered in the US have been administered. Big numbers but they don’t reassure the many who are in the qualifying Phases waiting to receive the vaccine. Vaccine administration issues continue to be in constant flux. Please read Peter Curriers recent article in Friday’s paper for local updates.

Beginning February 18, 2021, individuals 65 and over and those with 2+ certain medical conditions are now eligible for vaccination. Good news, but it may take more than a month to get that vaccine. Phase 2 eligible conditions are as follows: asthma, cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), heart conditions, immunocompromised, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking, type 2 diabetes. To sign up for vaccine, go to COVID-19 Vaccine Finder at www.mass.gov/COVIDvaccine or https://vaxfinder.mass.gov.

Our health department has been working hard to create a streamlined plan and place for administration of vaccines as soon as we receive them. Unfortunately the state has changed their plan of distribution again. Yesterday the State announced as of March 1, 2021, local Boards of Health/Health Departments will NOT be provided with doses of COVID-19 vaccines until further notice. This means that Westfield will not be able to conduct a city run vaccination clinic at this time. However, that does not mean vaccination sites won’t be available to residents. We are advocating for Westfield pharmacy locations to be added to the list of sites ASAP. Also please continue to regularly check for availability in our area at site listed above. For updated information, go to our website: http://www.cityofwestfield.org/covid19. Take care of yourself and someone else if you can.

Dedicated health department members who have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic are: Debra Mulvenna RN, Assistant Director Evelyn Bristol RN, Steve Cipriani, Health Inspector Thomas Hibert, Health Inspector Cheryl McMordie, Office Manager Crystal Dugay, Kathi Cotugno, CORE coordinator

Other Board Members: Margaret Doody, Stan Strzempko MD

WE KEEP WORKING TO KEEP YOU SAFE Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Avoid gatherings. Stay home. Save lives.

Look for us in next Saturday’s edition.


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