BOSTON — More than two-thirds of Massachusetts communities had falling or steady positive coronavirus rates over the last two weeks, according to new town-by-town data released by the state Wednesday. But four towns remained above the 5 percent threshold.
The seven-day statewide positive coronavirus test rate was 0.8 percent, the lowest level on record.
Statewide, there were 295 new COVID-19 cases and 20 deaths reported Wednesday. There have been 9,036 coronavirus-related deaths and 123,720 confirmed cases statewide since the pandemic reached the Bay State in March.
The state reported another 16,632 tests conducted Wednesday, bringing the number of completed tests to 3.13 million.
The latest town-by-town data showed the positive test rate over the last two weeks increased in 112 — or 31.2 percent — of the 351 communities in the state. The rate fell in 133, or 38 percent, of communities and held steady in the remaining 106.
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. Four towns had positive test rates at or above 5 percent over the last two weeks: Monroe, Montgomery, Tyringham and West Stockbridge.
The metric Gov. Charlie Baker encouraged school districts to use to monitor school reopening decisions, cases per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks, was also updated. Seventeen towns were marked red due to more than eight confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks: Chelsea, Everett, Framingham, Lawrence, Lynn, Revere, Winthrop, Dedham, Lynnfield, Monson, Nantucket, New Bedford, Plainville, Saugus, Tyngsborough, Winthrop, Worcester and Wrentham
Last week, 13 towns were marked red.
The data 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 333 of the state's cases because state health officials could not determine which communities the patients lived in.