COVID-19 situation worsens over last 2 weeks
Moderate risk category balloons to 48 communities
THE STATE’S COVID-19 situation worsened over the last two weeks, with the number of high-risk communities holding steady and the number of moderate-risk communities growing from 30 to 48.
Using the state’s measuring stick of cases per 100,000 people, high risk, or red communities, are those having more than 8 cases per 100,000; moderate risk, or yellow communities, are those with between 4 and 8 cases per 100,000, and low risk anything below 4.
Statewide, the number of cases per 100,000 people over the two-week period ending September 2 increased slightly from 4.0 to 4.2. For comparison purposes, Massachusetts restricted travel from Rhode Island when that state saw its cases per 100,000 people go above 5.
The number of red communities during the most recent two-week period dropped from 9 to 8, with Brockton and Sutton moving from the high-risk to moderate-risk category and the tiny town of Westhampton moving from low risk to high risk due to a surge in cases.
Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera pledged three weeks ago that he would take more drastic action, possibly moving the city back into an earlier phase of reopening, if the case level in Lawrence didn’t improve within two weeks. That deadline passed without any action and the case level has continued to deteriorate.
In the moderate-risk group of communities , eight municipalities moved out into the low-risk category, two (Sutton and Brockton) moved in from the high-risk category, and 24 moved up from the low-risk categories. Overall, there was a net gain of 18 in the moderate-risk, or yellow, category. Several summer vacation communities showed up in the yellow level this week.The new additions included Abington, Ashland, Attleboro, Barnstable, Easthampton, Fall River, Hadley, Haverhill, Holbrook, Holden, Holliston, Lowell, Lynnfield, Malden, Maynard, Medford, Nantucket, Northbridge, Orange, Seekonk, Southwick, Waltham, West Bridgewater, and Westport.
Among holdovers from the previous two-week period, Boston saw its rate rise from 7.1 cases per 100,000 to 7.4 cases, Somerville’s case level rose from 4.7 per 100,000 to 5.8, and Norwood went from 4.3 to 6.6.