Coronavirus

Boston Still at Medium Risk for COVID, Parts of Conn. Now Considered High Risk

Six Massachusetts counties continue to be listed as medium risk, with the rest of the state in the low risk category

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Most of eastern Massachusetts -- including Boston -- remains at medium risk for COVID-19, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Barnstable, Dukes, Middlesex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Plymouth counties remain in the medium risk category. The rest of the state is considered low risk. All of the state's counties remained at the same risk level they were in the previous week.

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Over the past month, risk levels had been steadily declining across Massachusetts, before increasing suddenly a couple weeks ago. But the situation appears to have settled down a bit since then.

The news remains mostly positive across the rest of New England, with two states entirely in the low risk category.

Source: CDC

Massachusetts health officials reported 9,954 new COVID-19 cases and 38 deaths in the last week. That's down slightly from 10,250 cases and 42 deaths the week before.

The state's seven-day average positivity was at 8.09%, down slightly from 8.17% last week.

Massachusetts' COVID metrics, tracked on the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard, have been slightly increasing in recent weeks.

The most recent peak in cases was attributed to subvariants of omicron — first, it was the "stealth" omicron variant BA.2, and more recently the BA.2. 12.1 subvariant. Newer variants have since been identified in New England, including the BA.5 and BA.2.75. The BA.5 variant seems to be driving a new wave of infections, though it is too soon to determine what the result of that might be.

Experts have warned that this summer will be more challenging than last year, with a much higher level of COVID-19 in Massachusetts.

COVID risk levels across New England

Most New England states saw their COVID risk levels remain about the same as they were a week ago in this week's CDC update. Connecticut was the one state that saw a bit of a downturn.

Source: CDC

All of Maine except for northernmost Aroostook County remains in the low risk category. Aroostook rose from low to medium risk this week.

New Hampshire is entirely in the low risk category, an improvement from last week.

Vermont's Bennington and Rutland counties are medium risk, but the rest of the state is low risk.

All of Rhode Island remains at low risk for the fourth straight week.

In Connecticut, the risk level has increased slightly over the past week. New Haven went from medium to high risk, making it the only county in New England currently considered high risk. Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex and New London counties are in the medium risk category, with the rest of the state at low risk.

Residents in counties with high risk are urged to wear masks indoors in public and on public transportation, to stay up to date with vaccines and to get tested if they have symptoms, according to the CDC.

Residents in areas with medium risk are encouraged to wear a mask if they have symptoms, a positive test or exposure to someone with COVID-19. Anyone at high risk for severe illness should also consider wearing a mask indoors in public and taking additional precautions, the CDC says.

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