MASSACHUSETTS — The Massachusetts Department of Health designated 219 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 7.8 percent, down from 8.7 percent on Jan. 1 but still above the level a month ago, 6.2 percent.
There were 7,136 new confirmed cases and 71 deaths Thursday.
The seven-day average of hospitalized patients was 2,386, up from 2,208 a week prior. There were 455 patients in intensive care.
The town-by-town report labeled 219 Massachusetts communities as high risk for the virus, up from 190 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 267 — or 76.1 percent — of the 351 communities in the state. The rate fell in 54 — or 15.4 percent of — communities and held steady in the remaining 30. Two-week confirmed case counts rose in 211 communities.
There were 61.1 average daily cases per 100,000 residents of the state over that period, up from 58.3 last week.
To date, there have been 393,188 cases and 12,634 confirmed deaths statewide since the pandemic began. Officials estimate that there were 81,604 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 242, from 208 last week.
Eight towns reported positive test rates of 15 percent or higher. Thirty-one reported test rates below 2 percent.
The state reported 108,412 new tests Thursday, bringing the total to 11.4 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 1,177 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, Belchertown, Bellingham, Berkley, Beverly, Billerica, Blackstone, Bolton, Boston, Bourne, Boxford, Boylston, Braintree, Brewster, Bridgewater, Brockton, Burlington, Canton, Carver, Charlton, Chatham, Chelmsford, Chelsea, Cheshire, Chicopee, Clinton, Cohasset, Danvers, Dartmouth, Dedham, Dennis, Dighton, Douglas, Dracut, Dudley, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, East Brookfield, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Easton, Everett, Fairhaven, Fall River, Fitchburg, Foxborough, Framingham, Franklin, Freetown, Gardner, Georgetown, Gloucester, Grafton, Granby, Great Barrington, Groveland, Hadley, Halifax, Hamilton, Hampden, Hanover, Hanson, Harwich, Haverhill, Hingham, Holbrook, Holden, Holliston, Holyoke, Hopedale, Hudson, Hull, Ipswich, Kingston, Lakeville, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lee, Leicester, Leominster, Littleton, Longmeadow, Lowell, Ludlow, Lunenburg, Lynn, Lynnfield, Malden, Manchester, Mansfield, Marion, Marlborough, Marshfield, Mashpee, Mattapoisett, Maynard, Medford, Melrose, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleborough, Middleton, Milford, Millbury, Millis, Milton, Monson, Montague, Nahant, Nantucket, New Bedford, Newbury, Norfolk, North Andover, North Attleborough, North Brookfield, North Reading, Northbridge, Norton, Norwell, Norwood, Oak Bluffs, Orange, Orleans, Oxford, Palmer, Paxton, Peabody, Pembroke, Pepperell, Plainville, Plymouth, Quincy, Randolph, Raynham, Reading, Rehoboth, Revere, Rochester, Rockland, Rockport, Rowley, Rutland, Salem, Salisbury, Sandwich, Saugus, Scituate, Seekonk, Shirley, Shrewsbury, Somerset, South Hadley, Southampton, Southborough, Southbridge, Southwick, Spencer, Springfield, Sterling, Stoneham, Stoughton, Stow, Sturbridge, Sutton, Swampscott, Swansea, Taunton, Templeton, Tewksbury, Tisbury, Topsfield, Townsend, Tyngsborough, Upton, Uxbridge, Wakefield, Walpole, Waltham, Ware, Wareham, Warren, Watertown, Wayland, 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.