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These 6 Massachusetts communities are at high risk for COVID-19

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

The state releases a map on a weekly basis that uses coronavirus case counts to show which Massachusetts communities are at high, moderate, and low risk for COVID-19 infection. The state’s latest report lists a total of 6 Massachusetts communities now considered high risk for the spread of COVID-19, a decrease from 13 last week.

The statewide average daily rate of infection per 100,000 residents was at 12.5, down from 15.9 in last week’s report, and Boston’s average daily rate was at 11.8, down from 14.7 in last week’s report.

Governor Charlie Baker introduced the map on Aug. 11 and it initially outlined each town’s average daily increase in cases per 100,000 people over the most recent two-week period. In November, Baker announced the state had changed its metrics for determining the level of risk for COVID-19 transmission in communities.


Under the new guidelines, larger communities are designated high risk if they have an average of more than 10 cases per 100,000 residents and a positive test rate greater than or at 4 percent. Cities and towns with 10,000 to 50,000 residents are categorized as high risk if they average more than 10 cases per 100,000 people and have a positive test rate of 5 percent or higher. If communities with fewer than 10,000 residents have more than 25 cases, they are considered high risk.

In the first week that the state applied the new standards, the number of high-risk communities plummeted from 121 cities and towns — including Boston — to just 16.

But the number has risen since then, from 30, to 62, to 81, 97, 158, 187, 188, 190, 219, 229, 222, 192, 153, 110, 66, 28, 19, 14, 20, 32, 55, 77, 59, 48, 26, to 13 in last week’s report. This week’s total of 6 marks the fifth week in a row that the number of high-risk communities has dropped.


One community was added to the high-risk category since last week’s report and 8 were removed from it.

Curious if your town is among them? Take a look at the list:

  • Acushnet
  • Edgartown
  • Lawrence
  • Lowell
  • New Bedford
  • Taunton

Amanda Kaufman can be reached at amanda.kaufman@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @amandakauf1. Peter Bailey-Wells can be reached at peter.bailey-wells@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @pbaileywells.