Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Health and Human Services (HHS) Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris held a press briefing to address the Commonwealth’s latest COVID-19 Risk Assessment Map in which Springfield has been designated as a “Red” / High-Risk community.
The Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Risk Assessment Map is a weekly public health report issued every Wednesday. The recent report issued on Wednesday, September 30, 2020, has designed the City of Springfield as a “Red” High-Risk community with a total positive COVID-19 case count of 183 over the last 14 days. Springfield’s average daily incident rate per 100,000 population is now at 8.3. Communities designated as a High-Risk community have an average daily case rate of 8+ over the last 14 days.
Yellow/Moderate-Risk communities have an average daily case rate of 4-8 per 100,000 population over a 14-day period. Green/Low-Risk communities have an average daily case rate of less than 4 per 100,000 population over a 14-day period.
As Springfield is now a “Red”/High-Risk community, the City cannot enter Step 2 of Phase 3 of the Commonwealths reopening plan. Only communities that are “Gray”, “Green” or “Yellow” risk level can move forward on October 5, 2020.
Mayor Sarno and HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris stated that the city would continue to monitor the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic situation closely and are positive that with the proper public health and safety measures being followed our community can return to a lower risk status.
Mayor Sarno stated, “We must all stay ever vigilant. We will continue to work with our local hospitals, healthcare facilities, and the state to do help mitigate the community spread of this virus. The Stop the Spread initiative has been widely successful and our strategic target testing has helped us understand where these positive cases are and where they are not. Again, Commissioner Caulton-Harris and I cannot stress enough the importance to adhering to all of the public health, personal hygiene and social distancing procedures. Please, wear those masks, wash your hands, be mindful of your surroundings and considerate to your loved ones and neighbors. Though they might seem simple and common sense, they will play a pivotal role in starving and killing this virus.”
“COVID-19 is a highly contagious transmittable virus as evidenced by the fact that the city of Springfield's status has gone from green to red in one month. This virus can have lasting chronic health impacts and even lead to death. I implore our residents to take COVID-19 seriously as it is a killer virus that has claimed the lives of 207,000 Americans,” said HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris. “I have every confidence that our status will change quickly back to yellow and then green. Wear face coverings; practice good hand hygiene; socially distance by at least 6 feet; stay home if you're sick.”
HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris added, “Stop the Spread has been an invaluable tool in helping to determine the penetration of the virus in the city of Springfield. However, testing alone cannot be the only intervention. I ask that our businesses; neighborhood councils; civic associations and community-based organizations get involved with prevention efforts.”