By Christina Hager

WORCESTER (CBS) – Worcester is making changes after being labeled high risk for coronavirus infections. “For the Worcester Public Schools, the start of sports was tomorrow,” said Worcester School Superintendent Maureen Binienda. Not anymore.

The sports season is postponed because Worcester is one of six communities that just spiked into the high-risk red zone on the state’s color-coded map of virus rates. Nantucket, Plainville, Saugus, Tyngsboro, and Wrentham also moved into the red. “We were doing cross country, golf, field hockey, and soccer, so students have been looking forward to that and practicing, but we just want to do what’s safe for everybody,” said Binienda.

The line at the Community Healthlink free COVID-19 testing site ran down the block before it even opened. “Safety, security, to make sure we’re safe,” said Angelique Bodziak, as she waited to take a test.

“We really want people to kind of use their judgement,” said Dr. Michael Hirsh, who’s the City’s Medical Director. “We’re hoping that we’re going to be able to reel this back in and that the state, now that we are red zone, will be able to provide us with some extra muscle.”

Governor Charlie Baker said in his daily briefing that the state will help high-risk communities. “That means our code enforcement intervention team will be talking to them about what the causes of that increase might be,” he said.

Worcester City Officials say they’ve ramped up testing, and could use help with contact tracing. “With this new designation, this is an opportunity for everybody to redouble their efforts and recommit their own everyday activities to adhering to the protocols,” Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus said.

Christina Hager

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