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COVID-19 testing site to return to Greenfield Community College

  • Will Agron and Maria Sanabria, working for Curative Inc., run the COVID-19 testing site in the South County Senior Center building in South Deerfield. Once paperwork is completed with Greenfield, Curative will also operate a testing site out of Greenfield Community College. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 4/28/2022 4:21:37 PM
Modified: 4/28/2022 4:20:09 PM

GREENFIELD — As COVID-19 numbers trend upward, public health officials are preparing for the return of a PCR testing site at Greenfield Community College.

“If we discuss statewide positivity, that has been steadily increasing every week,” Health Director Jennifer Hoffman told Board of Health members on Wednesday evening.

In March, Gov. Charlie Baker announced the closure of several of the state’s Stop the Spread PCR testing sites, citing a significant decline in testing in the preceding months. The GCC site, which opened in January 2021, was among the sites to close on April 1, at which point only 11 Stop the Spread testing sites remained open — the closest of which is in Springfield.

“Even though the PCR testing sites have decreased, we’re still seeing an increase in (COVID-19 case) numbers,” Hoffman said.

As of Wednesday, a total of 145 cases were reported in Greenfield for the month of April, compared to 97 last month, according to Public Health Nurse Megan Tudryn.

“We do have a couple outbreaks in different areas of town,” she said. “The schools aren’t too, too bad; they’re only getting a few positives in their pool testing, which is good news.”

Tudryn added that the Health Department has seen many cases of people who tested positive with the omicron variant in January and now are testing positive for the Omicron BA.2 strain.

“And it’s just over 90 days after,” she said. “We’re getting a lot of those right now.”

Hoffman added that the community is seeing an increase in hospitalizations at Baystate Franklin Medical Center. She said the same trend is happening at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.

“We’re definitely seeing an increase in numbers in Greenfield,” she said.

Tudryn said once paperwork is completed, Curative Inc. — the same company partnering with Deerfield to offer PCR testing at the South County Senior Center — will be operating out of GCC.

“They’ll take insurance, but if somebody doesn’t have insurance, it’s going to be no charge,” she said.

Hoffman also told Board of Health members that the department received its second shipment of antigen testing kits from the state.

“We have about 5,200 home test kits,” she said. “I distributed about 2,100 to the (Franklin Regional Council of Governments) to distribute out to their communities as well.”

Board of Health Chair Nancee Bershof commented that Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, had recently told media outlets that the pandemic was “moving into endemicity.”

“I was glad to hear that,” she said. “Here, we see cases increasing in our area, and yet there’s information out there nationally that suggests that while that is happening, it is not indicative of this major problematic surge.”

Reporter Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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