77 communities in MA now considered ‘high-risk’ zones for COVID-19

BOSTON — New COVID-19 health data issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Thursday, Oct. 22 showed a spike in the number of communities in the state that are now considered at high risk for COVID-19.

Since last week, 14 more towns have been marked as “red zones,” meaning those communities are now at increased risk for COVID-19 transmission. The criteria for labeling towns as low, moderate and high risk for the virus is dependent upon how many people within a city or town test positive for the virus and how prevalent it is.

As a state, Massachusetts continues to be considered high-risk, a designation given last week, with an average daily case rate of 9.2 per 100,000 population over the last 14 days. Last week, the state had averaged a daily case rate of 8.7 per 100,000 population over the last 14 days.

As of Oct. 21, a total of 94,080 people have undergone a quarantine period (but are no longer subject to quarantining) and a total of 4,726 people are currently being monitored and undergoing quarantine. So far, 98,806 Massachusetts residents in total have been subject to quarantine.

Last week saw 23 new communities added to the high-risk category. The City of Boston, now registering an increase of 1,166 new cases within the last 14 days, has entered its fourth week of being considered a red zone.

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Currently, the following towns are considered high-risk for coronavirus: Abington

Acushnet, Ashland, Attleboro, Avon, Berkley, Boston, Boxford, Brockton, Buckland, Canton, Chelmsford, Chelsea, Chicopee, Clinton, East Longmeadow, Everett, Fairhaven, Fall River, Framingham, Gloucester, Hanover, Hanson, Haverhill, Hingham, Holliston, Holyoke, Hudson, Kingston, Lawrence, Leicester, Lowell, Lynn, Lynnfield, Malden, Marlborough Marshfield, Mattapoisett, Methuen, Middleborough, Middleton, Milford, Millville, Milton, Monson, New Bedford, North Andover, Norwood, Oxford, Pembroke, Plymouth, Randolph, Raynham, Revere, Rochester, Rockland, Saugus, Scituate, Seekonk, Shrewsbury, Somerset, Somerville, Springfield, Swampscott, Tyngsborough, Wakefield, Waltham, Webster, W. Bridgewater, W. Newbury, Westfield, Westport, Weymouth, Winthrop, Woburn, Worcester and Wrentham.

According to the new town-by-town data, for the past two weeks, the average age of COVID-19 cases has been 38, but the average age of cases that had to be hospitalized was 66. The average age of deaths among confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks was 81.

In the state as a whole, there has now been a total of 143,927 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 986 newly reported Wednesday. An additional 30 new deaths bring the death toll to 9,589 people who died with confirmed cases of COVID-19.

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Since last week, 231 new COVID-19 cases have been reported among higher education testing since last week, bringing the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases associated with higher education to 1,408.

DPH officials reported a total of 427 nursing home and long-term case facilities were required to submit their testing data, but only 239 of those facilities were found to be in compliance with state regulations for testing. Thirty-three facilities were found to not be in compliance and 39 were deemed to be not in compliance due to incomplete reporting. 116 facilities are still reporting their testing data to the state.

The state’s town-level data is now available in an interactive map. You can explore the data in more detail below or view a full-screen version here:

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