According to the latest weekly community-level data on the epidemic, 30 communities considered most at risk for transmitting new coronaviruses in Massachusetts now include an updated city-by-city COVID-19 risk assessment map Is not.
The report, reported last week, nearly doubled the total of 16 cities and cities, with the Massachusetts risk of coronovirus transmission determining how the most at-risk red area had dramatically fewer communities after a major change. (See this week’s full red zone list below.)
Weekly data from the Department of Public Health, including the total number of coronovirus cases in each Massachusetts city and city, transmission rates, data on groups and more.
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It was issued as the death of the state’s confirmed coronavirus, which was above 10,000 and the number of confirmed cases remained at levels not seen since the end of the first boom in spring.
See Town-by-Town Mass. Coronavirus risk data
The following 30 communities are in the highest risk level as of Thursday: Brockton, Chelsea, Chicopee, Clinton, Dighton, Everett, Falling river, Fitchburg, Freetown, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lovell, Lynn, Marion, Methuen, Milford, New bedford, Norfolk, Plainville, Revere, Seekonk, Shirley, Inversion, Springfield, Swansea, Tisbury, Uxbridge, West springfield And Westport.
There are fourteen reds in the list: Chicopee, Clinton, Dighton, Freetown, Holyoke, Leominster, Marion, Milford, Plainville, Shirley, Swansea, Tisbury, Uxbridge And West springfield. No community turned red from the list.
The Department of Public Health no longer includes a map of community-level risk in the weekly report. An official told NBC 10 Boston that the map is no longer seen as being useful as it once was, with cases of coronaviruses now occurring in most communities.
To qualify for the Red category under the new matrix, communities with less than 10,000 populations must have more than 25 cases. For mid-size communities of 10,000 to 50,000 people, they should have an average of more than 10 cases per 100,000 people and a positive test rate of over 5%. And for large communities of more than 50,000 people, they must have more than 10 cases per 100,000 people and a positive test rate of over 4%.
Previously, states used to determine the number of cases found on average two weeks each week to determine whether communities in Massachusetts were at high risk for coronovirus transmission. New list factors in population size and positive test rate.
The report does not say that any more communities were in the Red Zone for a long time than to go back to Phase 3, Phase 1 of Massachusetts’ reopening plan.
According to the state list, last updated November 6, cities and towns still have Phase 3, Phase: Abington, Acushnet, Attleboro, Avon, Berklee, Bostan, Brockton, Canton, Chelmsford, Chelsea, dracut, East longitude, Everett, Fairhaven, Falling river, Framingham, Hannover, Hanson, Haverhill, Hingham, Holliston, Holyoke, Hudson, Kintal, Lawrence, Leicester, Lovell, Lynn, Lynnfield, Malden, Marlborough, Marshfield, Methuen, Middleton, Milford, Nantucket, New bedford, North andover, Pembroke, Plemet, Randolph, Revere, Rockland, Saugus, Seekonk, Inversion, Springfield, TYNGSBOROUGH, Wakefield, Waltham, Webster, Westport, Weymouth, Winthrop, Woburn, Worcester And Wrentham.
State health officials have identified 6,913 coronavirus groups on 6 November. Compared to previous reports, 1,581 more clusters have been identified with data as of 31 October. There are currently 2.16 COVID-19 cases associated with each cluster.
Read this week’s full report here, featuring percentile positivity of communities, county- and state-level data, and more.
Massachusetts replaced communities it considered high risk of coronavirus transmission, reducing the number from 121 to 16 on Friday. Officials said the change allows more schools to hold in-person classes.
Massachusetts Hot Spot Map Change
Massachusetts has changed its coronovirus matrix for weekly reports over time, including three significant changes over the past three weeks.
The most recent changes produced a major shift: defining the number of communities in the Red Zone from 121 to 16 as defining a high-risk community. Officials said the adjustment brought Massachusetts in line with the level of risk in other states.
Last week’s report also dropped a map displaying the city’s coronavirus virus. This showed that communities in the state had a high, medium or low risk of transmission, but officials said it was no longer very informative.
Earlier in the week, officials added information on the COVID-19 groups, where both major groups have been identified – they are listed with an asterisk in the report – and on trends between the groups.
Color-coded city-by-city data was introduced in August, and the Baker administration announced that the state would focus its strongest COVID-mitigation efforts on cities in the red category. Communities may only move to Phase 2 of Phase 3 of Massachusetts, announced in late September, if they are not consistently red.
Prior to the introduction of that data, positive COVID test rates prior to 14 days were the standard for measuring hot spots. The Public Health Department’s weekly report still contains information on how many tests are being conducted locally and how many cases have been reported locally, along with other metrics.
Some of the smaller cities in Massachusetts took issue with assessing their risk on a per capita basis. He said that, when there were only a few thousand people in a town, only one house at the time could send its outbreak under the criteria: 8 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Officials said last week that the latest change in data addressed those concerns.