NEWTON, MA — While more than a third of of the state's communities had fewer coronavirus cases than last week, Newton was among the few that had more cases, according to updated town-by-town coronavirus data from the state Department of Public Health.
Some 801 people have tested positive, an increase of 26 in the past two weeks, out of the 17,857 people who have taken the test, according to state data released Wednesday.
In neighboring Brookline, where there are 419 people who have tested positive, the number of people who tested positive also increased. However, in Needham (352) and Waltham (1,258) the number of those testing positive has gone down.
Since the first reported death in March 20, there have been 8,360 coronavirus-related deaths in the state of the 109,096 cases that have been confirmed.
In Newton the number of people who died related to the coronavirus rose to 125 this week, after the city saw no new deaths for nearly a month.
At Newton nursing homes, which are required to report COVID-19 cases and related deaths to the state: Care one at Newton has reported 31 deaths. Chetwynde Healthcare reported 17, Stone Rehabilitation and Senior Living reported 15 deaths. West Newton Healthcare reported 13 deaths. Heathwood Healthcare reported 12.
Health officials say positive 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 up social distancing restrictions. Nine towns had positive test rates at or above 5 percent and 63 had positive rates between 2 and 5 percent. Newton's positive rate was less than 1 percent.
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