Massachusetts’ ‘high-risk’ COVID communities in decline: see if your city or town stays on the list

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The number of towns and villages in Massachusetts assessed as “at high risk” for the spread of COVID fell further on Thursday despite a slight increase in new infections last week.

There are now 19 communities at high risk of transmission of the coronavirus, according to the Ministry of Public Health.

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Last week, the number of high-risk communities stood at 28, continuing the steep week-over-week decline since the peak of the second wave in January.

Here is the list by department:

Bristol County: Autumn River, Freetown, New Bedford

Essex County: Haverhill, Lawrence, Lynn, Methuen, Peabody

Hampden County: Chicopee, Ludlow, Springfield

Hampshire County: Hadley

Norfolk County: Plainville, Weymouth

Plymouth County: West Bridgewater

County of Worcester: Black Stone, Clinton, Sterling, Sutton

The counties of Barnstable, Berkshire, Dukes, Franklin, Middlesex, Nantucket and Suffolk had no towns or villages in the so-called red zone. Statistics show that the number of residents living in a high-risk community fell 32.5% this week.

The risk designations – which are colored, gray, green, yellow and red depending on infection levels – are determined using several new measures for three population categories: communities of less than 10,000 people; between 10,000 and 50,000; and greater than 50,000.

For communities of less than 10,000 inhabitants, the “gray” rating will be awarded if there are 10 cases in total or less; “Green” if there are up to 15 cases; “Yellow” if there are up to 25 cases; and “red” if there are more than 25 cases.

For communities with between 10,000 and 50,000 inhabitants, the grade “gray” will be awarded if there are 10 cases in total or less; “Green” if there are less than 10 average cases per 100,000 inhabitants and more than 10 cases; “Yellow” if there are 10 or more cases per 100,000 population or a test positivity rate of 5% or more; and “red” if there are 10 or more cases per 100,000 population and a test positivity rate of 5% or more.

And for communities with more than 50,000 inhabitants, “gray” will be assigned if there are 15 cases in total or less; “Green” if there are less than 10 average cases per 100,000 inhabitants and more than 15 cases; “Yellow” if there are 10 or more cases per 100,000 population or a test positivity rate of 4% or more; and “red” if there are 10 or more cases per 100,000 population and a test positive rate of 4% or more.

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