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Worcester public health official calls latest data on COVID-19 cases encouraging

UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/22280677@N07
UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts.

A public health official in Worcester said it's too soon to tell if COVID-19 cases have peaked in the city, but recent data is heading in the right directoin.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported that new cases of COVID in the previous two weeks jumped by more than three times in Holyoke, Pittsfield and Chicopee.

Cases in Springfield went up four times, while Worcester saw an increase of four and a half times.

Dr. Michael Hirsh, the medical director for Worcester, said more recent data is starting to present a different picture.

"The last two days here in Worcester, the numbers did come down a little bit from our extremely high numbers," he said. "And I never really go on two days of data. You know, I think you have to see a longer period of time before we call it a trend, but it certainly looks like we had lower numbers this week than the week before."

Hirsh said COVID hospitalizations and deaths lag infections, and they're still on the rise in the city.

He stressed the importance of getting the booster shot, saying the only people Worcester's UMass Memorial Medical Center is admitting with omicron, and who have received the shot, are the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.