The number of cities at high risk for the coronavirus has more than doubled in the past two weeks, rising to 17 from 13 last week to 8 the week before, according to state data.
See the city and city statistics.
The 17 municipalities represent the highest number of cities in the hot zone since the state health department began reporting weekly data in August using a color-coded risk assessment system that shaded high-risk communities in red.
Chelsea, Dedham, Everett, Framingham, Lawrence, Lynn, Lynnfield, Monson, New Bedford, Revere and Winthrop stayed on the high-risk list for another week in a row, according to data released on Wednesday.
Saugus returned to the list, joining Nantucket, Plainville, Tyngsborough, Worcester and Wrentham while Chatham and Methuen dropped out. Communities in the red zone reported an average of eight or more COVID-1
Nantucket officials wrote in a statement Friday that there has been a “September surge,” including community transmission of the virus.
“We have regressed in our mission to contain the spread of COVID,” wrote Dawn Hill Holdgate, Chair of the Select Board, advising residents on best practices for keeping the island safe. “The current increase is proof that even some relaxation is dangerous.”
Dedham resumed state-sponsored coronavirus testing Thursday after a surge in cases was linked to clusters from two recent meetings between young people.
“We urge as many people as possible to get tested,” said Leon Goodwin, Dedham City manager, in a statement.
The number of communities with medium risk – with four to eight cases per 100,000 inhabitants – was 36 this week. Around 80 cities were classified as low-risk with fewer than four cases.
Public health officials reported 295 new coronavirus cases and 20 more deaths on Wednesday as the average positive test rate stayed at the state’s record low of 0.8%.
The 20 new deaths bring the state-confirmed COVID-19 toll to 9,036.
The 295 new cases bring the total confirmed coronavirus cases to 123,720. Another 11 probable cases were reported on Wednesday, for a combined confirmed and probable case totaling 125,699. More than 109,000 people have now recovered.
The state reported for the first time this week on cumulative tests at colleges and universities. 499 cumulative cases were confirmed in the 59 schools running tests on campus. 168 of these have been reported since last week.
In total, colleges and universities carried out 518,904 tests for the novel virus and 532 came back positive. In the last week alone, 153,675 of these tests were performed.