Lawrence leads way as red spread grows
State’s overall case rate rises to 9.2
THE NUMBER of communities at high risk for the spread of COVID-19 rose again on Thursday, led by Lawrence which continues to creep higher and higher despite intensive efforts by state and local officials to bring the case count down.
The number of communities in the red zone – those with 8 or more cases per 100,000 people over the previous two weeks – hit 77 this week, 14 more than last week. Four of the communities – Chelmsford, Middleton, Milton, and North Andover — were assigned asterisks, meaning a large chunk of their infections occurred at a prison, long-term care facility, or a college.
The state’s overall rate rose to 9.2, up from 8.7 a week ago. (It was 4 as recently as late August.) The state’s rate is nearing 10, the new threshold Massachusetts is using to determine which states are higher risk. Visitors from those states are required to fill out forms and either quarantine for 14 days or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test. The threshold had been 6 cases per 100,000 until October 16.
Lawrence reported 45.9 cases per 100,000 people over the last two weeks. Chelsea was second at 28.4, Revere third at 27, Everett fourth at 23.4, and Kingston fifth at 21.6. No other communities were above 20 except Middleton, where an outbreak at a jail caused the community’s rate to hit 61.6.
The state data continued to show younger people getting the most infections, but this week those 19 and under had the most – 20 percent of the total over the last two weeks. The infection rate declined with age, as those 20 to 29 accounted for 19 percent of the infections, those in their 30s 17 percent, and so on.Nantucket fell out of the red zone Thursday for the first time in five weeks.
The number of communities with a yellow designation, meaning they had between 4 and 8 cases per 100,000, rose to 96 from 88 a week before. The total number of red and yellow communities is now 173, just five less than the remaining 178 communities, which are considered low risk with rates less than 4 per 100,000.