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Map and List Show Communities With High Rates of Positive Tests – NBC Boston

Massachusetts has released its latest weekly data on the coronavirus pandemic, including an updated version of the state’s new community-level risk assessment map.

The data, from the Department of Public Health, includes a breakdown of the total number of coronavirus cases in each Massachusetts city and town, as well as the new map.

Community Risk Assessment

Last month, Gov. Charlie Baker revealed this new metric for understanding how much the virus has spread locally.

It shows the number of cases detected on average each day over the last two weeks in each of Massachusetts’ communities. More than 8 cases per 100,000 translates to a high risk, between 4 and 8 cases per 100,000 is moderate risk, and any less than that is low risk, Baker said.



Mass. Department of Public Health

This map shows the average daily number of coronavirus cases per capita in Massachusetts from Aug. 23-Sept. 5, 2020.

Cities and towns shaded red have the greatest risk levels. There are 13 in this map, an increase from the eight in last week’s map, which included data from Aug. 16-29.

The high-risk communities in Wednesday’s report are Chatham, Chelsea, Dedham, Everett, Framingham, Lawrence, Lynn, Lynnfield, Methuen, Monson, New Bedford, Revere, Winthrop. Of those cities and towns, all but Chatham, Monson and Winthrop appear on the chart below.

Chatham had seven cases in the last 14 days and Monson had 10, meaning neither met the threshold for inclusion our weekly tracking chart. Ranking every city and town purely by percent positivity during that time period, Chatham would be seventh highest and Monson would be 11th.

Winthrop actually had 23 cases in the last two weeks, enough to meet the 15-case threshold for the chart, but its 1.14% positivity in that period left it 30th highest among qualifying communities.

The data provided by the state in its weekly report on COVID-19 has changed as the pandemic has dragged on. Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders said earlier this month that her agency recognizes that it’s necessary to change what data the state reports as it moves into different phases of outbreak.

Recent Coronavirus Tests Returning Positive

Among cities and towns with at least 15 new cases in the last two weeks, these communities have the highest percentages of positive cases in that time period. This weekly list normally includes 25 communities, but with Peabody and Plymouth effectively tied, there are 26 below:

Community Number of cases Cases in the last 14 days Average daily incidence rate per 100,000 in the last 14 days Total tests in the last 14 days Positive tests in the last 14 days Percent positivity in the last 14 days
Chelsea 3,448 134 25.4 3,253 174 5.35%
Lawrence 4,260 253 20.5 5,669 299 5.27%
Everett 2,149 122 18 2,791 144 5.16%
Revere 2,432 158 18.5 3,967 204 5.14%
New Bedford 2,497 143 10.3 3,819 172 4.5%
Lynn 4,570 134 9.5 5,314 199 3.74%
Framingham 2,064 105 10.1 3,657 116 3.17%
Fall River 1,983 95 7.6 4,004 120 3%
Dedham 484 37 9.7 1,471 39 2.65%
Methuen 1,203 62 8.3 2,857 73 2.56%
North Attleborough 323 22 5.2 1,175 29 2.47%
Brockton 4,664 86 6.3 4,717 115 2.44%
Barnstable 446 32 5.1 1,529 37 2.42%
Lynnfield 127 18 11 765 18 2.35%
Saugus 670 31 7.8 1,809 42 2.32%
Middleborough 310 17 4.5 953 20 2.1%
Haverhill 1,386 63 6.8 3,524 73 2.07%
Malden 1,453 70 7.4 4,456 85 1.91%
Lowell 3,206 97 5.9 6,263 109 1.74%
Norwood 645 22 5.2 1,550 25 1.61%
Chelmsford 396 23 4.6 1,607 24 1.49%
Marlborough 1,126 26 4.3 2,009 30 1.49%
Holyoke 1,087 29 5 2,698 38 1.41%
Weymouth 822 27 3.4 2,293 31 1.35%
Peabody 1,152 22 2.8 2,819 37 1.31
Plymouth 665 29 3.3 2,282 30 1.31%

Data from between Aug. 26, 2020, and Sept. 9, 2020, omitting communities with under 15 new cases in that span. The state notes that earlier reports were based on the number of people who tested positive, but this percentage is instead based on the total number of positive tests. Both tallies are listed in the chart above.

Chelsea had the highest rate of positive tests among qualifying communities, despite improving from 5.88% last week to 5.35% this week. Lawrence had the second highest rate with 5.27%, a jump from last week’s rate of 4.61%. Everett came in third with 5.16% positive tests, an increase from 4.93% last week.

Lynn, which was ranked third last week after spending weeks atop the chart, continued to improve, with its rate dropping from 5% to 3.74%. Boston dropped out of the top 25 last week with 1.4% positive tests, and this week, its rate was below 1%.

The state’s overall rate of positive tests has fluctuated, but it has been decreasing in each data set presented since early August, dropping below 1% positive tests in the last 14 days.

Take a closer look at last week’s list.




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