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97 Massachusetts cities and towns are now at high risk for coronavirus [+chart] – Boston Herald

By

Dec 4, 2020

More than a quarter of Massachusetts cities and towns are now in the high-risk “red” zone for coronavirus transmission, with several communities reporting “mind-boggling” numbers of new cases even before the expected post-Thanksgiving surge.

See the city and town COVID-19 stats.

“This is arguably the most challenging period we’ve been in, at least since the very outset of the pandemic,” state Sen. Julian Cyr, D-Truro, said on a Cape Cod Reopening Task Force call Thursday, adding that there will likely be “more hard news to come.”

The number of high-risk cities and towns climbed to 97 this week, according to the latest report from the Department of Public Health, up from 81 last week and continuing an upward trend throughout November.

Red-zone communities this week include Abington, Acushnet, Attleboro, Barnstable, Bellingham, Berkley, Billerica, Blackstone, Boxford, Brockton, Charlton, Chelmsford, Chelsea, Chicopee, Clinton, Dartmouth, Dighton, Douglas, Dracut, Edgartown, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Framingham, Freetown, Gardner, Georgetown, Granby, Hampden, Hanover, Haverhill, Holden, Holyoke, Hopedale, Hudson, Lancaster, Lawrence, Leicester, Lenox, Leominster, Littleton, Lowell, Ludlow, Lunenburg and Lynn.

Malden, Marion, Mendon, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, Milford, Millbury, Monsoon, New Bedford, Newbury, Norfolk, North Attleboro, North Brookfield, Palmer, Paxton, Peabody, Pittsfield, Plainville, Randolph, Rehoboth, Revere, Rutland, Salisbury, Saugus, Seekonk, Shirley, Somerset, Southboro, Southbridge, Southwick, Spencer, Springfield, Sterling, Stoneham, Stoughton, Sturbridge, Sutton, Swansea, Taunton, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro, Upton, Uxbridge, Wareham, Wenham, West Boylston, West Springfield, Westport, Whitman, Wilmington and Woburn rounded out the high-risk list.

Revere, which has long borne the brunt of the coronavirus, logged its highest single-day case count of the pandemic on Thursday. Mayor Brian Arrigo promptly announced the city would open a third free testing site for residents beginning Sunday at the Rossetti-Cowan Senior Center.

“If they aren’t already feeling it personally, I want our residents to understand we are in the midst of the second surge,” Arrigo said. “We need everyone to do their part to reduce the spread as much as possible.”

The number of “yellow” moderate-risk communities ticked down to 138 from 144 last week, and the number of “green” low-risk communities dropped to 20 from 27.

But cities such as Boston and Worcester that remained in the “yellow” under the state’s recently revamped metrics still reported alarmingly high numbers of new cases.

In Worcester, where a field hospital is slated to open at the DCU Center on Sunday, City Manager Edward Augustus Jr. called the number of new infections in his city “mind-boggling” and said Thanksgiving travel and gatherings would act as “gasoline that’s been poured on this fire” of community spread.

“This is all very dire,” Worcester Department of Public Health Medical Director Dr. Michael Hirsh said. “It doesn’t yet reflect the big wave that’s going to come from all that Thanksgiving travel. … And that leads to the worry that this could have all been a very, very large super-spreader event.”

 

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