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Graphic: The number of COVID-19 high-risk communities in Mass. has risen dramatically. Take a look at where

Weekly town-by-town data from August to Oct 2020Ryan Huddle

Coronavirus cases have been steadily increasing over the past two months in Massachusetts, and now, most residents live in what the state calls “high-risk areas.”

The number of communities designated as high risk has grown from eight on August 12 to 121 on Thursday— a full one-third of cities and towns, and 61 percent of the state population, according to a Globe analysis.

The graphic above shows how the increases have transpired over this time period. Data are released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health once a week. The colors in the graphic show the average daily rates, given by number of cases per 100,000 people. Red means a town or city has greater than eight cases per 100,000 people; yellow is four-eight cases per 100,000; green, less than four cases per 100,000; and grey is less than five cases total.


When stacked up over time, you can see the dramatic increase from summer to fall.

Thursday was also the sixth straight day the state has exceed 1,000 new cases, and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh asked residents to get a COVID-19 test, something many experts say should apply for the whole state. The state — alongside the country and many other regions worldwide — is looking towards winter as cases continue to increase.

Explore the interactive map below, which shows the average daily rates per town and city as of Thursday.

Heather Ciras can be reached at Follow her @heatherciras.