Westfield health director: Infection rates now similar to omicron leadup

WESTFIELD — COVID-19 infection rates in Westfield may be on par with levels last seen in last fall’s leadup to the omicron peak, but the severity of the virus still seems to have dropped off significantly.

Westfield’s Health Director Joseph Rouse said that there has been a significant increase in the number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases in Westfield, but many cases detected through home tests still go unreported. He said that last week 100 cases were reported through PCR tests in Westfield. The real number from that period, he said, could be higher than 200 cases, due to unreported home tests.

Rouse said he’s spoken to local clinicians, including the two that sit on the Board of Health, who have said that in their experience there has been a notable increase in patients seeking treatment for various respiratory diseases. They have seen upticks in COVID-19, the common cold, and influenza. The least symptomatic patients, he said, have actually been those with COVID-19.