Eighty-one cities in Massachusetts have been classified as a “high risk” of the spread of the coronavirus based on the new metrics used by health officials to determine the level of risk in communities.
These communities are: Attleboro, Barnstable, Bellingham, Berkley, Blackstone, Boxford, Brockton, Chelmsford, Chelsea, Chicopee, Clinton, Dartmouth, Dighton, Douglas, Dracut, East Longmeadow, Edgartown, Everett, Fairhaven, Fall River, Fitchburg, Framingham, Freetown, Gardner, Georgetown, Hampden, Haverhill, Holyoke, Hopedale, Lancaster, Lawrence, Leicester, Lenox, Leominster, Littleton, Lowell, Ludlow, Lunenburg, Lynn, Malden, Marion, Mendon, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, Milford, Millbury, Monson, New Bedford, Norfolk, Oak Bluffs, Paxton, Peabody, Rehoboth, Revere, Rutland, Salisbury, Safe, Seekonk, Shirley, Somerset, Southbridge, Southwick, Springfield, Sterling, Sutton, Swansea, Taunton, Templeton, Tisbury, Tyngsbor Upton , Uxbridge, Wenham, West Boylston, West Springfield, Westminster, Westport, Whitman, Winchendon and Woburn.
Last week, the number of cities called high-risk was 63 after the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced changes to the way communities are classified on the national map.
The Department of Public Health has announced that it will change the classification of communities at risk for COVID transmission on the national map. Risk designations – which are colored, gray, green, yellow and red based on the level of infection – are now defined by several new indicators for three new population categories: communities with less than 10,000 inhabitants; Between 10,000 and 50,000; and greater than 50,000.
Officials say the new categories will help make community-specific data more nuanced and take better account of the growth of cases in smaller communities and communities where testing is stronger.
For communities with less than 10,000 inhabitants, the “gray” mark is obtained if there are a total of 10 cases or less; “Green” if there are 15 cases; “Yellow” if there are up to 25 cases; and “red” if there are more than 25 cases.
For communities with a population of 10,000 to 50,000, the “gray” mark is given if there are a total of 10 cases or less; “Green” if there are on average less than 10 and more than ten cases per 100 000 inhabitants; “Yellow” if there are 10 or more cases per 100 000 population or a test positive rate of at least 5%; and “red” if there are 10 or more cases per 100,000 population and the test has a positivity rate of at least 5%.
And for communities with more than 50,000 inhabitants, “gray” will be marked if there are a total of 15 cases or less; “Green” if there are on average less than 10 and more than 15 cases per 100 000 inhabitants; “Yellow” if at least 10 cases per 100 000 population or a test positivity of at least 4%; and “red” if there are 10 or more cases per 100,000 population and the test has a positivity rate of at least 4%.
State health officials confirmed 4,464 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, reflecting two-day data.
“Today’s dashboard includes reports received by Wednesday afternoon, November 25, and Friday, November 27, by 8 a.m.,” health officials said. “As a result, today’s figures reflect case numbers from the longer period.”
Another 29 COVID-related deaths were reported by health officials on Friday, bringing the total number of deaths since the outbreak began to 10,401.