WAKEFIELD, MA — Wakefield is still considered a high-risk community for the coronavirus, according to weekly state data released Thursday. It was among 77 cities and towns across the Commonwealth labeled high risk, or "red," up from 63 from last week.
Wakefield had 59 confirmed cases over the last two weeks, with an average daily rate of 15.6 cases per 100,000. That was a significant increase from 9 cases per 100,000 last week, when the town attributed a spike in cases to a cluster at one location.
State officials have said that high-risk communities, along with those considered high risk in the past two updates, cannot move on to the next phase of reopening. Towns were marked high risk, or "red," if they reported more than eight confirmed COVID-19 cases per day per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks.
Statewide, the positive test rate rose to 1.4 percent, the highest level since mid-August and up from 0.8 percent in mid-September. In Wakefield, the positive rate rose to 3 percent from 1.57 percent last week.
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 restrictions.
The state reported 986 confirmed cases and 30 deaths associated with the virus Thursday. There have been 9,589 deaths and 143,927 confirmed cases statewide since the pandemic reached the Bay State in March.
In Wakefield, 434 people have tested positive for the virus during that time.
Statewide, there were 9 average daily cases per 100,000 residents, keeping the state above the high-risk threshold for the second week in a row.
View the state's interactive COVID-19 map.