By Brandon Truitt

WORCESTER (CBS) — Coronavirus cases are climbing in Worcester, and some doctors there think it is time to make changes.

The COVID Treatment Center at UMass Memorial is seeing a record number of people coming in for outpatient COVID care.

“These are concerning. That is the maximum number of people we have treated so far ever since we started back in July of 2021.”

Dr. Sandeep Jubbal is an infectious disease physician and runs the COVID Treatment Center.

Jubbal said last week, the center served more than 320 people, and he expects that number to be over 400 this week. Compare that to about a month ago when they were seeing an average of 40 people a week.

(WBZ-TV graphic)

Despite the sharp increase in COVID positive patients visiting the treatment center, the hospitalization rate in Worcester has plateaued.

It’s proof for Worcester’s Commissioner of Health and Human Services that the city’s systems are working.

“We are not where we were when we didn’t have vaccines,” said Dr. Matilde Castiel. “The vaccines are available treatment is available, everything is available for you to use.”

Dr. Castiel said the city has no plans to reimplement it’s mask mandate that it repealed earlier this year.

But doctors like Jubbal credit it for the sharp rise in cases the city is currently seeing.

Jubbal is calling on Worcester officials to consider making changes to keep the hospitalization rate where it is.

“To go back and wearing masks again especially indoors because we know it well,” said Dr. Jubbal. “We have seen this enough. We have seen this for two years. Whenever there is laxation in the mask mandate, we see a surge thereafter.”

Brandon Truitt