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Springfield public health officials issue COVID-19 mask advice as infections rise sharply

Free masks and hand sanitizer were also given to people
Pat Bradley/WAMC
Public health officials in Springfield, Massachusetts are urging people to take precautions including masking and hand sanitizing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, influenza, and RSV.

Seniors, people with underlying health conditions urged to again wear masks

A surge in COVID-19 cases has led to a mask recommendation in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The city’s board of health is advising seniors and people with underlying health conditions to wear masks in public indoor places.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the Omicron variant XBB.1.5 now accounts for the majority of new COVID-19 cases in New England. Scientists say the variant is highly contagious because it is more resistant to antibodies created by current vaccines and past infections.

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Springfield Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris.

As mentioned in the interview, the Springfield health department has a free vaccination clinic every Tuesday from 9 a.m. – noon at the department’s headquarters at 311 State Street.

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.