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Greenfield officials believe COVID-19 uptick linked to gathering

Staff Writer
Published: 10/20/2020 7:13:01 PM

GREENFIELD — The city is seeing an increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases following a relatively steady period of new cases over the past three months, but officials believe the most recent uptick might be due to a gathering of young people in a neighboring town.

Mayor Roxann Wedegartner said the increase follows both state and national trends. Greenfield is among the Franklin County municipalities reporting five or fewer positive COVID-19 cases, according to Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) Regional Health Agent Randy Crochier.

“The city of Greenfield is asking now, more than ever, for everyone to wear a mask, maintain at least 6 feet of distance when next to someone and to wash hands regularly,” Interim Health Director Jennifer Hoffman said. “These three simple tasks can greatly help keep our numbers low. We are aware of the pandemic fatigue, but we need to keep fighting during this time.”

Hoffman and Wedegartner said outdoor gatherings are preferable to indoor gatherings. As temperatures drop and the weather changes, they said residents should think about dressing warmly and hosting outdoor events, even into late fall — while wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.

“If indoors, the risk of COVID-19 spreading is greater due to poor ventilation and decreased space within a home,” Hoffman explained. “If indoors, wear a mask and leave windows open to increase the flow of air.”

Since mid-March, the city has reported 233 positive COVID-19 cases and 74 deaths. There have been 238 recoveries. According to the Greenfield website, the recovery number includes clinical or presumed positive cases, so that’s why numbers don’t match. The deaths counted by the city are those who have died and received a positive test for COVID-19, but the virus is not necessarily the cause of death.

Baystate Franklin Medical Center reported on Tuesday that it doesn’t currently have any confirmed cases of COVID-19, but it has increased testing for at least the next two weeks.

For more information, call the Department of Public Health at 413-772-1404 or the COVID-19 Resource and Information line at 413-775-6411 between 9 a.m. and noon. Or, visit bit.ly/2TbbnXR.

Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-9591 or afritz@recorder.com.




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