WORCESTER, Mass. - When asked whether he felt safe now that he received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, one man in Worcester on Monday exclaimed, "Hell yeah."

It's the sort of enthusiasm the City of Worcester is looking for from residents who receive their COVID-19 shot.

Yet another free vaccine clinic in the Main South neighborhood tried to encourage people to be vaccinated. But with new vaccination numbers dropping, it's become frustrating for Health and Human Services Commissioner Dr. Matilde "Mattie" Castiel.

"We're all going to start wearing masks again because it's growing by the day," Dr. Castiel said. "We were seeing zero cases sometimes on a daily basis and now those have incredibly increased." 

What You Need To Know

  • Health officials in Worcester say while no decisions have been made to bring back a mask advisory, it's something they're starting to discuss again.
  • Municipalities like Boston, Cambridge, and Provincetown have already brought re-issued mask advisories or mandates
  • Dr. Michael Hirsh says COVID-19 hospitalizations at one local hospital have nearly quadrupled in the last week
  • There will be COVID-19 vaccines available at six Worcester Red Sox games the remainder of the year, with one on Tuesday

Wearing masks again is not an empty threat. Municipalities across the state like Boston, Cambridge, and Provincetown have already re-issued some mask advisories or mandates.

Worcester hasn't taken any steps yet, but they could be soon.

"We are starting to talk about that issue right now," Dr. Castiel said. "What's going to happen when school starts? What are going to do? You know, and it all depends on the timing. When are we going to get FDA approval, that it's no longer emergency use?"

Worcester's medical director, Dr. Michael Hirsh, says when it comes to masks and restrictions, everything is on the table.

"We're watching the numbers very carefully and they are ticking up," said Hirsh. "There's no question."

When we spoke with Dr. Hirsh last week, he still believed Worcester was on the right track to curbing coronavirus. He feels the same a week later, but his concern is growing.

"We just got a report out of UMass that they now have 29 inpatients with COVID," Dr. Hirsh said. "Just last week it was eight. So it has almost quadrupled."

The Worcester Red Sox will be offering vaccines at six home games throughout the remainder of their year.

On Saturday, the City of Worcester will also be offering vaccines at a food truck festival in Beaver Brook Park.