Medford Falls Into High-Risk Category For COVID-19

Alex Newman

MEDFORD, MA — The state labeled Medford a high-risk community in its weekly Public Health Report Thursday. It's the first time the city has slipped into the red category since the state revised its reporting system in November.

Medford reported 520 new coronavirus cases over the past two weeks, bringing its case count to 3,288. The city averaged 61.1 daily cases per 100,000 residents, with a positive test rate of 5.56 percent, during that time.

As of this week, about two-thirds of Massachusetts communities are considered high risk. Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn said Friday "we remain in a surge" throughout the state.

"Though we have hopeful vaccine news, it's extremely important that we all continue to remain vigilant and follow the governor's orders to keep ourselves and our fellow residents healthy," the mayor said in a message to residents. "We are not out of the woods yet, and I am urging everyone to continue to do their part to help us slow the spread of COVID-19."

Long-term care facilities have already begun vaccinations, and first responders will receive their first dose this coming week under Phase 1 of vaccine distribution. There is not yet a start date for Phase 2, which will include those over the age of 75 or those with two or more comorbidities.

Important updates, resources on housing, business, and other support can be found at www.medfordma.org/coronavirus-information. For assistance with access to food, physical or mental health, and other related services, contact the new Multilingual Resource Line at 781-475-5644.

This article originally appeared on the Medford Patch