Officials seeing shorter testing lines, higher vaccination rate in Springfield | News


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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — The city of Springfield reaches a new all-time high for COVID-19 cases in a single day as the testing lines at the Eastfield Mall are getting shorter. The vaccination rate has also gone up slightly.

Officials said that 751 cases were reported in Springfield on Monday but the city’s health and human services commissioner, Helen Caulton-Harris, told me this could be, in part, because of delayed test results.

“We know that it is taking 32 to 72 hours to get the test results back because of the backlog at the labs,” Caulton-Harris noted.

Caulton-Harris broke down what she knows about the COVID-19 data for the city this week so far. Here are the numbers from Sunday to Wednesday:

  • Sunday – 272 cases
  • Monday – 751 cases
  • Tuesday – 104 cases
  • Wednesday – 340 cases

That’s a total of 1,467 cases. When comparing the same time frame last week, that’s only 75 fewer cases.

The numbers seem steady, but the testing site at the Eastfield Mall is much less busy compared to recent weeks. In fact, we’re told their peak day hit 3,600 tests a week-and-a-half ago, compared to Wednesday when just under 2,000 were administered.

There’s also a big difference in wait times too.

“I had to get tested for school, I had to go to a specific school to get tested,” said Danielle Dorn of Springfield.

[Reporter: …And so did you think the line was going to be long today?]

“Yeah, the last time I went, I waited two hours, so this is nothing,” Dorn explained.

[Reporter: How does it feel not to have to wait that long?]

“Well, i don’t mind waiting if it’s going to save a life or something like that. I’ll wait all day, all night if I have to,” said Robert Taylor of Springfield.

Caulton-Harris weighed in on the shorter testing lines.

“One of the reasons we could see decreased numbers is because we are distributing home test kits to the residents of our city,” Caulton-Harris said.

As for the city’s vaccination rate, it’s now up to just over 60 percent and vaccination sites continue to pop up. The Jewish Community Center held one on Thursday.

“Well, we care about the community. We thought it would be a great location. We’re excited about public health and doing all we can to make sure everyone is safe and healthy coming into the new year,” said Zach Verriden with the JCC.

The city of Springfield also has new rapid COVID-19 test locations. CLICK HERE for more information.

Copyright 2022. Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM). All rights reserved.

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