COVID-19 numbers rising locally: 15 new cases in Northampton over past week

  • Ricardo Sojuel waits for a coronavirus swab as workers start to dismantle a mobile COVID-19 testing unit, Thursday, July 2, 2020, in Lawrence, Mass.  AP PHOTO/ELISE AMENDOLA  

Staff Writer
Published: 8/7/2020 9:55:33 AM
Modified: 8/7/2020 9:55:22 AM

NORTHAMPTON — Positivity rates for COVID-19 cases are on the rise both locally and across the state, based on data released by the Department of Public Health this week.

For both Northampton and Amherst, which combined have had 30 new cases over the past two weeks, the percentage of positive tests is up, according to the Weekly COVID-19 Health Report issued Wednesday. 

Northampton’s positivity rate nearly doubled from .94% to 1.77%, while the positivity rate in Amherst more than tripled from .45% to 1.51%.

Easthampton and South Hadley, which had both been below 2% positivivity rates in the last July report, both exceeded that percentage this week.

Holyoke held almost steady, moving from a 2.34% to 2.31% positivity rate, and Belchertown, which was already higher than many local communities at 3.56%, fell to 2.65%.

In the report released July 29, statewide 1.74%, or 3,265 of 187.587 tests, were positive for COVID-19. That increased to 1.82%, with 4,079 of 224,483 tests administered, in the Wednesday release.

Gov. Charlie Baker has said it’s important to stay under a 5% positivity rate as recommended by the World Health Organization for reopening.

Among those in Hampshire County with low rates were Hadley, where 391 tests were administered and none came back positive, and Hatfield, where 100 tests were administered, with just one positive.

For specific cases in cities and towns, 20 new ones have been identified in Northampton within the past two weeks, bringing the city’s total to 304; there are 12 in Belchertown, for a total of 125; and 10 in Amherst, increasing the count to 115. Holyoke had 40 new cases, bringing the count to 1,007.

Smaller increases were found in Eashampton, where eight cases were identified and brought the total to 100, and there were seven cases in South Hadley, meaning 176 have tested positive there.

As with the increasing positivity rates, many of the cases are more recent, with 15 of the 20 new positives being identified in Northampton in the past week, eight of the 10 in Amherst happening just over the past week, and 27 of the 40 new cases in Holyoke appearing over the same time frame.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.


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