WORCESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - Worcester city officials are urging people to double their safety precautions as the pandemic worsens in the area.

Essex and Bristol counties are also not looking to good when it comes to curbing the virus.

“We are not improving, we are going in the wrong direction,” Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus Jr. said at a press conference on Thursday.

Extra COVID-19 testing is underway for Worcester residents in an effort to stop the spread. Hospitals across the region are also feeling the strain.

“I’ve asked the department of public health to come up with some additional measures, everything is on the table,” Augustus said.

A top COVID-19 forecasting model predicts that Suffolk County, where Boston is located, is doing a good job combating the virus. Other counties though, including Worcester, are having some problems.

Norfolk, Middlesex, and Worcester counties are projected to see dangerous spikes in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks, according to research from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Overflow COVID patients from the UMass Memorial Medical Center are already being sent to community hospitals. Elective surgeries there are being postponed.

Dr. Eric Dickson, CEO of Mass Memorial Healthcare, is surprised that Worcester has been designated as a hotspot for COVID-19.

“We were actually last to peak in the state,” he said.

Dickson said if the state were to reopen the field hospital at the DCU center downtown they would be using it for coronavirus patients.

“I think we’re going to need one here in Worcester,” he said.

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