‘It's a Relief': Lawrence Is No Longer in the Red Zone

One of the Massachusetts communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lawrence is no longer at high risk for coronavirus transmission

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Massachusetts' latest data shows one of the communities hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic is no longer at high risk for transmission.

Lawrence is no longer in the red zone after being one of the last remaining municipalities on the list.

Only Tisbury on Martha's Vineyard is still red.

The red zone is considered an area of high transmission of COVID-19.

"Everybody wants to get back to normal," said Juan Hidaldgo, who owns Bali's Restaurant in the city.

Lawrence was labeled with the red zone stigma for months.

"It's been tough," said City Council President Marc Laplante. "We've had a lot of people that are scared and were anxious … and we've been on the front lines for a while. Now that we're making progress, it's a relief."

The city had indicated earlier in the week it would delay a full reopening if it was still labeled a red zone.

The state of Massachusetts is expected to lift all restrictions Saturday.

The mayor of Lawrence did not respond to a request for comment.

"I think we're in a very good place right now, but I think that we can't be complacent," said Maryellen Brisbois, a nursing professor at UMass Dartmouth.

She says the improved coronavirus metrics statewide are a result of vaccinations and the strict pandemic rules.

"We have been more careful in following the guidelines, and I do applaud that," said Brisbois. "I don't know that it was always, in the public perception, the right thing to do, but I think, in the long run, that that may have saved us."

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