CHELMSFORD, MA — As coronavirus cases increase across the state, some 618 people, up from 541 last week, have tested positive for the coronavirus in Chelmsford and of those 51 people have died, according to town data.
Some experts have suggested that positive tests per people tested is a better measure of the pandemic. In Chelmsford that number per 100,000 people is 12.7. The state average is 11.8.
Chelmsford's positivity rate for the past two weeks was 2.95. Statewide, the positive test rate was 1.8 percent, more than double the September low of 0.8 percent.
Chelmsford, which has been considered high-risk for the past four weeks by the state is now one of 151 communities in the red zone.
The state data marked Chelmsford with an asterisk, because it had more than 30 percent of its cases and at least 10 of its cases in the past two weeks linked to a long-term care facility.
Just last week, it came out that a nursing home here had an outbreak of the virus, which left five residents dead and dozens of others infected. According to the state data, seven people have died there. Patch has reached out to the facility.
Still, the town's health department said Chelmsford appears to be a microcosm of the rest of the state.
"The breakout of the virus in the Town of Chelmsford remains similar to both Middlesex County and the Commonwealth as a whole," the town's Health Department said Thursday in a statement. "Confirmed cases in Chelmsford are dispersed geographically throughout the community."
Coronavirus rates have been increasing for weeks — the number of people who tested positive for the virus in Massachusetts surged past 150,000 on Wednesday. And the past six days have seen more than 1,000 cases each across the commonwealth. Sewage measurements suggest the spike is still on an upward trajectory.
Thursday, the state reported 150,498 people had tested positive for the coronavirus since March. The spike in the commonwealth has prompted neighboring states to cast a wary eye on travel here, with Connecticut and New Jersey this week adding Massachusetts to their coronavirus travel advisory lists.
Earlier this week, the state sent out alerts to communities, including Chelmsford.
"Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Do not share food drinks utensils. Stay home if sick. Get a free COVID test. Stop gatherings with family and friends. Protect you and your loved ones. For more info visit mass.gov/stopcovid19," the alert said after hitting cell phones with a distinct emergency tone.
Read more: Chelmsford Rolls Back Reopening Measures