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Expert: Too Soon To Tell If COVID-19 Cases Have Plateaued In Western Massachusetts

A vial with a swab test for COVID-19.
Tony Spinelli
Connecticut Public
A vial with a swab test for COVID-19.

A western Massachusetts public health expert said the data isn't clear on whether COVID-19 cases are leveling off in the region.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, case counts over the most recent two-week period were lower in Berkshire County and higher in Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties.

Kathleen Szegda, who is with the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, said while new case numbers overall for western Mass. are up, there's not as sharp an increase as the weeks before.

"But I think we need to see data over a period of several weeks to see if in fact it’s plateauing," she said.

Szegda cautioned that the week-to-week numbers can be affected by clusters, including a recent one at UMass Amherst.

"That really impacts western Mass. as a whole because we’re talking about 380 cases in one week," she said.

Szegda also said the state may see an increase in cases because of COVID-19 testing in schools, meaning more people overall are tested.

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