SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – On Friday, we learned that Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has tested positive for COVID-19 amid concerns by city health officials of the growing number of positive cases within the city.
The mayor’s office confirmed that he tested positive with an at-home test, would confirm that result with a PCR test, and will remain in isolation.
Meanwhile, cases in Springfield are on the rise.
Sarno’s office said in a statement the mayor is experiencing mild symptoms. He is vaccinated and boosted and will remain in isolation for the next five days, in accordance to CDC guidance.
Sarno’s schedule was extremely busy this week. Western Mass News caught up with him at an event on Wednesday honoring Springfield police officers. Later that day, he was at three other events before heading to the Springfield Thunderbirds game.
We last saw him Thursday afternoon at a news conference. He was also at the T-Birds game Thursday night.
As for employees in Sarno’s office, his spokesperson told Western Mass News in a statement:
“All city department heads have been notified. Pursuant to the CDC guidelines, all city employees that were in close contact with the mayor, including the mayor’s staff, have taken the rapid at-home test and/or are monitoring their symptoms.”
Meanwhile, more and more Springfield residents are receiving the same results. Springfield Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris offered an update during a virtual meeting Thursday afternoon.
“The news is not good for the pandemic in the city of springfield,” Caulton-Harris noted.
Cases have started to creep up over the last seven weeks. For the week of March 27, there were 115 cases. Those numbers quickly started to jump with 350 positive cases for the week of April 24. Last week, cases spiked to 522 cases – an increase of 172 cases.
“I am anticipating that trend will continue for the week coming up, based on the data I’ve seen so far,” Caulton-Harris added.
Sarno is usually a main guest at the Spirit of Springfield’s World’s Largest Pancake Breakfast and, this year, will not be in attendance. The event is still planned as scheduled, despite a spike in cases within the city.
“I think we’re going to have the largest turnout we have ever had. I am really thinking it’s going to be the largest, judging by the calls, the number of volunteers, bigger than ever before,” said Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt.
Matt said they are doing what they can to keep people safe.
“We are telling everyone to decide for themselves what they want to do. We are so spread out as you know, it’s all Main Street, so there’s plenty of places they can stand if they choose not to be near anyone,” Matt added.
She told Western Mass News there will be masks and hand sanitizer at every ticket booth.
Caulton-Harris said there will also be free at-home COVID-19 testing kits given out. However, they do expire at the end of the month…
“We are going to obviously be making sure we continue to push those out. We will be giving them out at the pancake breakfast and we will be telling folks that they expire in a couple of weeks,” Caulton-Harris explained.
There is currently a mask advisory in place in the city for those who are more at-risk for getting severely ill from COVID-19.
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