The numbers are in and the data has been tabulated. In a strange, but good, twist of fate, positive cases of COVID-19 continue to increase while COVID-related deaths are down.

WWLP/22 News Springfield reports that even as Massachusetts extends COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, cases of the virus are rising steadily. Officials with the Mass Department of Public Health report nearly 3,000 new cases just over two days. Across the Commonwealth, there are approximately 35,000 active cases of the virus.

At Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, there are 75 confirmed cases with several in ICU. Experts say that with the warmer weather here, there might not be a turnaround anytime soon.

More and more people are going outside to enjoy the beautiful weather and many are not wearing masks in public. People need to keep in mind that, at least in Massachusetts, a mask order is still in effect.

Dr. Daniel Skiest of Baystate Health's Infectious Disease Division, had this to say on the subject of staying vigilant:

As people are feeling better and we're doing better overall compared to where we were a few months ago in COVID, regionally and nationally we are seeing an uptick in cases. People still need to wear masks and distance and not congregate in large groups because we still have plenty of COVID circulating.

Some good news, though. COVID-related deaths are on the decline. Monday the country reported 222 deaths from the virus which is the fewest since March of last year.

For the full story, visit WWLP's website here.

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