MASSACHUSETTS — More than half of Massachusetts cities and towns were designated high risk by the Massachusetts Department of Health Thursday.
Positive test rates rose in 275 communities.
The state reported 4,985 coronavirus cases and 44 deaths Thursday. The seven-day average of hospitalized patients was 1,761, up from 1,498 a week prior. There were 383 patients in intensive care Thursday.
The seven-day average positive test rate was above 6 percent statewide, from below 4 percent as late as Nov. 28.
The town-by-town report labeled 187 Massachusetts communities as high risk for the virus, up from 158 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 243 — or 69.2 percent — of the 351 communities in the state. The rate fell in 74 — or 21.1 percent of — communities and held steady in the remaining 34.
There were 65.1 average daily cases per 100,000 residents of the state over that period, up from 50 last week.
To date, there have been 297,301 cases and 11,305 confirmed deaths statewide since the pandemic began. Officials estimate that there were 76,215 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. Over 200 towns had positive test rates at or above 5 percent over the last two weeks, up from 170 last week.
Three towns reported positive test rates of 15 percent or higher: Buckland, Hancock and Lawrence.
Just 36 communities had positive rates below 2 percent.
The state reported 92,627 new tests Thursday, bringing the total to 9.9 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 824 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.
High-risk communities: Abington, Acushnet, Adams, Agawam, Amesbury, Andover, Ashburnham, Ashland, Athol, Attleboro, Auburn, Avon, Ayer, Barnstable, Barre, Bellingham, Berkley, Billerica, Blackstone, Boxford, Boylston, Braintree, Brewster, Bridgewater, Brockton, Brookfield, Burlington, Carver, Charlton, Chelmsford, Chelsea, Chicopee, Clinton, Cohasset, Concord, Danvers, Dartmouth, Deerfield, Dighton, Douglas, Dracut, Dudley, East Bridgewater, East Longmeadow, Easton, Edgartown, Everett, Fairhaven, Fall River, Fitchburg, Framingham, Franklin, Freetown, Gardner, Georgetown, Gloucester, Grafton, Granby, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Groveland, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Haverhill, Holbrook, Holden, Holyoke, Hudson, Hull, Ipswich, Lakeville, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lee, Leicester, Lenox, Leominster, Littleton, Lowell, Ludlow, Lunenburg, Lynn, Lynnfield, Malden, Mansfield, Marion, Marlborough, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, Medway, Melrose, Mendon, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleborough, Middleton, Milford, Millbury, Millis, Monson, Montague, Nantucket, New Bedford, Newbury, Newburyport, Norfolk, North Andover, North Attleborough, North Reading, Northborough, Northbridge, Norton, Norwood, Oak Bluffs, Orange, Oxford, Palmer, Paxton, Peabody, Pembroke, Pepperell, Pittsfield, Plainville, Plymouth, Princeton, Quincy, Randolph, Raynham, Reading, Rehoboth, Revere, Rochester, Rockland, Rowley, Rutland, Salem, Salisbury, Saugus, Seekonk, Shirley, Shrewsbury, Somerset, Southampton, Southborough, Southbridge, Southwick, Spencer, Springfield, Sterling, Stoneham, Stoughton, Sturbridge, Sutton, Swampscott, Swansea, Taunton, Templeton, Tewksbury, Tisbury, Topsfield, Townsend, Tyngsborough, Uxbridge, Wakefield, Walpole, Waltham, Wareham, Webster, West Boylston, West Bridgewater, West Newbury, West Springfield, Westborough, Westfield, Westford, Westminster, Westport, Weymouth, Whitman, Wilbraham, Wilmington, Winchendon, Winthrop, Woburn, Worcester and Yarmouth.