Littleton, Tyngsboro now “high risk” communities due to coronavirus

Littleton, Tyngsboro now “high risk” communities due to coronavirus
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BOSTON – Two Greater Lowell communities, Littleton and Tyngsboro, on Wednesday were named “high risk” due to COVID-19 infections, according to the state Department of Public Health.

The statewide average daily case rate over the past 14 days climbed to 8.7 cases per 100,000 residents in the weekly update published Wednesday, crossing the 8-case threshold that moves municipalities from yellow, or “moderate risk,” to red, or “higher risk,” on the department’s scale.

Meanwhile, health authorities added 27 more cities and towns to the highest-risk category on Wednesday after increases in their local incidence rates: Besides Littleton and Tyngsboro, the communities of Abington, Auburn, Berkley, Canton, East Bridgewater, East Longmeadow, Fairhaven, Fall River, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham, Holbrook, Holliston, Marshfield, Milford, Milton, Oxford, Pembroke, Rockland, Saugus, Shrewsbury, Somerville, Wakefield, West Newbury and Weymouth were added.

They join 36 other communities that were already in the red: Acushnet, Amherst, Attleboro, Boston, Brockton, Chelmsford, Chelsea, Dartmouth, Everett, Framingham, Haverhill, Holyoke, Hudson, Kingston, Lawrence, Leicester, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Marlborough, Methuen, Middleton, Nantucket, New Bedford, North Andover, Plymouth, Randolph, Revere, Southborough, Springfield, Sunderland, Waltham, Webster, Winthrop, Woburn and Worcester.

The highest rate by far is in Middleton, whose 105.2 average daily incidences per 100,000 people is more than double the second-highest rate of 41.9 in Lawrence.

Communities that fall into the riskiest category cannot proceed into Phase 3, Step 2 of the economic reopening the Baker administration outlined until they land in the grey, green or yellow for three consecutive reporting periods.

Four towns that had been in the red last week were upgraded in Wednesday’s report: Avon, Dracut, Dudley and Southbridge.

In Wednesday’s daily report, DPH announced another 518 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths among confirmed patients. Both measures of the positivity rate — one calculating how many individuals have tested positive and the other counting how many tests, including repeat samples of the same person, come back positive — continued to tick upward. – Chris Lisinski