MASSACHUSETTS — The Massachusetts Department of Health designated 229 cities and towns as high risk for the coronavirus in the latest community-level report Thursday, putting nearly two-thirds of the state's 351 communities in the red category.
The statewide positive test rate fell to 6.7 percent, down from 8.7 percent on Jan. 1 but still slightly above the level a month ago, 6.2 percent.
There were 5,545 new confirmed cases and 74 deaths Thursday.
The seven-day average of hospitalized patients was 2,226, down from 2,386 a week prior. There were 454 patients in intensive care.
The town-by-town report labeled 229 Massachusetts communities as high risk for the virus, up from 219 last week; the full list can be found at the end of this article.
The positive test rate over the last two weeks increased in 197 — or 56.1 percent — of the 351 communities in the state. The rate fell in 114 — or 32.5 percent — of communities and held steady in the remaining 40. Two-week confirmed case counts rose in 292 communities.
There were 78 average daily cases per 100,000 residents of the state over that period, up from 61 last week.
To date, there have been 433,297 cases and 13,156 confirmed deaths statewide since the pandemic began. Officials estimate that there were 91,396 active cases as of Thursday.
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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. The number of communities reporting rates above 5 percent rose to 260, from 242 last week.
Thirteen towns reported positive test rates of 15 percent or higher, with Gardner reporting a 20.4 percent positive test rate. Thirty reported test rates below 2 percent.
The state reported 101,413 new tests Thursday, bringing the total to 12 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 releases town-by-town testing data every Thursday, 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 1,290 of the state's cases because state health officials could not determine which communities the patients lived in.
Pin colors correspond to the state's risk designations. Red pins are high-risk, or red, communities. Yellow pins are medium risk, green pins low risk and grey pins at most 15 total cases.
High-risk communities: Abington, Acushnet, Adams, Agawam, Amesbury, Andover, Ashburnham, Ashland, Athol, Attleboro, Auburn, Avon, Ayer, Barnstable, Barre, Belchertown, Bellingham, Berkley, Berlin, Beverly, Billerica, Blackstone, Boston, Bourne, Boxford, Boylston, Braintree, Brewster, Bridgewater, Brimfield, Brockton, Brookfield, Burlington, Canton, Carver, Charlton, Chatham, Chelmsford, Chelsea, Cheshire, Chicopee, Clinton, Cohasset, Dalton, Danvers, Dartmouth, Dedham, Dennis, Dighton, Douglas, Dover, Dracut, Dudley, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, East Brookfield, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Easton, Edgartown, Everett, Fairhaven, Fall River, Fitchburg, Foxborough, Framingham, Franklin, Freetown, Gardner, Georgetown, Gloucester, Grafton, Granby, Great Barrington, Groveland, Hadley, Halifax, Hamilton, Hampden, Hanover, Hanson, Harwich, Hatfield, Haverhill, Hingham, Holbrook, Holden, Holliston, Holyoke, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Hudson, Hull, Ipswich, Kingston, Lakeville, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lee, Leicester, Leominster, Littleton, Longmeadow, Lowell, Ludlow, Lunenburg, Lynn, Lynnfield, Malden, Manchester, Mansfield, Marblehead, Marion, Marlborough, Marshfield, Mashpee, Mattapoisett, Maynard, Medford, Medway, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleborough, Middleton, Milford, Millbury, Millis, Millville, Milton, Monson, Nahant, Nantucket, New Bedford, Newbury, Norfolk, North Andover, North Attleborough, North Brookfield, North Reading, Northborough, Norton, Norwell, Norwood, Oak Bluffs, Orange, Orleans, Oxford, Palmer, Paxton, Peabody, Pembroke, Pepperell, Pittsfield, Plainville, Plymouth, Quincy, Randolph, Raynham, Reading, Rehoboth, Revere, Rochester, Rockland, Rockport, Rowley, Rutland, Salem, Salisbury, Sandwich, Saugus, Scituate, Seekonk, Sherborn, Shirley, Shrewsbury, Somerset, Somerville, South Hadley, Southampton, Southborough, Southbridge, Southwick, Spencer, Springfield, Sterling, Stoneham, Stoughton, Stow, Sturbridge, Sunderland, Sutton, Swampscott, Swansea, Taunton, Templeton, Tewksbury, Tisbury, Topsfield, Townsend, Tyngsborough, Upton, Uxbridge, Wakefield, Walpole, Waltham, Ware, Wareham, Warren, Webster, Wenham, West Boylston, West Bridgewater, West Brookfield, West Springfield, Westfield, Westford, Westminster, Westport, Westwood, Weymouth, Whitman, Wilbraham, Wilmington, Winchendon, Winthrop, Woburn, Worcester, Wrentham and Yarmouth.