MASSACHUSETTS — More than one-third of the state's communities had fewer coronavirus cases than last week, while less than a quarter had more cases, according to updated town-by-town coronavirus data released Wednesday by the state Department of Public Health.
The remainder of communities reported no change.
Statewide, there were 356 new COVID-19 cases and 29 deaths reported Wednesday. Since the first reported death March 20, there have been 8,360 coronavirus-related deaths in the state.
The data shows the positive case count over the last two weeks increased in 81 — or 23 percent — of the 351 communities in the state. The count declined in 129 communities, or 37 percent.
The state conducted 15,556 tests Wednesday, bringing the number of completed tests to 1.49 million.
Health officials say positive test results need to stay below 5 percent for two weeks or longer and, preferably, be closer to 2 percent, for states to safely ease restrictions. Nine towns had positive test rates at or above 5 percent and 63 had positive rates between 2 and 5 percent.
The data also includes coronavirus cases for all Massachusetts communities, except for those with populations under 50,000 and fewer than five cases. The department said the stipulation was designed to protect the privacy of patients in those towns and cities.
The state is continuing to release town-by-town testing data, including the number of people tested, the testing rate, the positive test rate, cases and infection rates.
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How to use this map: Zoom in on the map below and click on a pin to see that community's coronavirus case data. You can also view the town-by-town coronavirus data in the spreadsheet we used to create this map.
The map does not include 288 of the state's 109,096 cases because state health officials could not determine which communities the patients lived in.
Pin colors are based on the case count changes versus last week's data; towns with increases are red, towns with decreases are green, and those reporting no change are yellow.