Worcester advises residents to wear masks indoors as COVID cases surge

WORCESTER (CBS) — The city of Worcester is advising residents to wear masks indoors as COVID cases surge in the city.

“With the number of new positive COVID-19 cases reaching their highest point since February and increasing levels of COVID-19 in regional wastewater, city health officials today issued an advisory strongly encouraging residents to wear masks when indoors and around others,” a statement said Friday.

Residents should also get the vaccines and boosters they are eligible for.

“Certainly indoor situations merit consideration for putting a good, well-fitting mask on,” Worcester Medical Director Dr. Michael Hirsh told WBZ-TV.”

Some residents and visitors to the city said they were glad the decision to wear a mask was still in their hands, as opposed to a mandate.

“It should be your option to wear a mask if you feel comfortable,” Chris Bellino, of Marlboro, said.

COVID cases in Worcester have been rising since March 12. The seven-day daily average of new positive COVID-19 cases has risen to 128.9. Hospitalizations at the city’s hospitals have also increased, there are currently 72 COVID-19-positive inpatients, 11 are in intensive care.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) elevated Worcester County’s community risk level to high.