WESTFIELD — The nation is experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 cases this summer, and Westfield is not immune.

Acting Health Director Debra Mulvenna said on July 5 that the city had seen eight lab-confirmed cases since July 1. There were 10 cases the week before. This is an increase from the one to three per week in May and June.

In June, MassLive reported that 39 states, including Massachusetts, were experiencing a “summer surge” in COVID-19 cases. The cases were related to two new variants, KP.3 and KP.2, also known as “FLiRT” variants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates KP.3 accounts for 22% to 46.3% of cases recorded between June 9 and June 22, and KP.2 for 16.4% to 26%.

State Department of Health data does not list cases by strain, but confirms the increase in total cases: It reported 721 confirmed cases from May 19 to May 25, and 1,151 confirmed cases from June 23 to June 29. Emergency room visits have also increased. Between June 23 and 29, 0.9% of ER visits in Massachusetts were related to COVID-19, a rise from 0.6% between May 19 and May 25.

Reports on the surge credit it to summer travel or people having large gatherings. Mulvenna said the latter made sense.

“It looks like it’s typical for this to surge across the summer,” Mulvenna said.

The recent case numbers don’t compare to what Westfield experienced in July 2020, she said. A search of the Health Department database for June 26 to July 8, 2020, during the first summer of the pandemic, revealed 100 cases, she said.

“We have less than one-tenth of what we had,” she said.

Since the last respiratory illness surge in December, the CDC has updated its COVID-19 guidelines, removing a mandatory quarantine period.

“It’s no more of that five-day isolate no matter what,” Mulvenna said. “You can resume your normal activities when you start to feel better.”

Mulvenna recommended that people follow the usual precautions for any respiratory illnesses, like the flu. She said those experiencing respiratory illness symptoms — fever, runny nose, cough, sore throat — should stay home and get tested. Symptoms of the new COVID-19 variants also include a loss of taste or smell, and difficulty breathing.

Patients should distance themselves from others, especially others who are immunocompromised, and cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing. In the first five days, she said, they should take precautions, like avoiding crowded spaces, and wearing a mask around other people.

“You should try to mask if you can,” she said, adding, however, that the city Health Department no longer mandates it.

Once they start to feel better and have been fever-free for 24 hours, without the help of fever-reducing medicine, patients can resume their normal activities.

Mulvenna said she will likely stick to these “routine” recommendations unless a new variant causes a surge in infections, hospitalizations are “out of control” and the vaccines are no longer working. In that case, she said people would have to be “diligent” about COVID-19. She would also not be making recommendations, but “strong advisories.” She said a mask mandate won’t return unless the state Department of Health implements one. The Health Department gets its guidelines from the state agency.

“It’s just like flu now, unless we get something really strange,” she said.

In a press release, the CDC recommended those 6 months of age and older get the “updated 2024-to-2025” COVID-19 vaccine when it comes out later this year. Vaccines, it said, increase protection against illness and hospitalization, and lower the risk of developing long COVID from an infection.