MASSACHUSETTS — State officials on Thursday designated 62 Massachusetts communities as high risk for the spread of the coronavirus, double last week's total.
More than three-quarters of the state's cities and towns reported rising positive test rates Thursday. The statewide positive test rate rose to 3.2 percent, the highest level since early June. And the seven-day average of hospitalized coronavirus patients rose to 792, more than double the level one month ago.
State officials announced 2,532 new coronavirus cases and 27 more deaths Thursday. To date, there have been 192,050 cases and 10,204 statewide since the pandemic began.
The positive test rate over the last two weeks increased in 266 — or 75.8 percent — of the 351 communities in the state. The rate fell in 36 — or 10.3 percent of — communities and held steady in the remaining 49.
There were 29.7 average daily cases per 100,000 residents, up from 20.7 last week. High-risk communities rose from 30 to 62.
The following communities were designated high-risk Thursday: Abington, Acushnet, Attleboro, Barnstable, Blackstone, Brockton, Chelsea, Chicopee, Clinton, Dartmouth, Dighton, Douglas, Dracut, Edgartown, Everett, Fairhaven, Fall River, Fitchburg, Framingham, Freetown, Hampden, Holyoke, Lancaster, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Ludlow, Lunenburg, Lynn, Malden, Marion, Methuen, Milford, Nantucket, New Bedford, Norfolk, Northbridge, Peabody, Rehoboth, Revere, Rockland, Salisbury, Saugus, Seekonk, Shirley, Somerset, Southbridge, Southwick, Springfield, Sterling, Sutton, Swansea, Taunton, Templeton, Tisbury, Townsend, Tyngsborough, Uxbridge, West Springfield, Westport, Winchendon and Woburn.
Health officials say positive coronavirus 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. Fifty-nine towns had positive test rates at or above 5 percent over the last two weeks, up from 30 last week.
Over 160 communities had positive rates between 2 and 5 percent.
The state reported 92,139 new tests Friday, bringing the total to 7.6 million.
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 504 of the state's cases because state health officials could not determine which communities the patients lived in.
Pin colors correspond to changes in positive test rates: cities and towns with rising test rates are marked red, those with falling test rates are marked green and those with level test rates are yellow.