coronavirus

COVID Risk in Mass. Drops Dramatically

Only one Massachusetts counties are considered high risk

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Only one of Massachusetts' 14 counties are now considered high risk for COVID-19, down from 12 just three weeks ago, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The latest data released Thursday shows Hampden County in the high risk category and Hampshire County at medium risk. The rest of the state is considered low risk.

Across all of the rest of New England, no other counties are considered high risk.

Source: CDC

That's a dramatic decrease in risk level in recent weeks, reflective of some of the other recent trends in case totals, school cases and test positivity rate that show the state may finally be emerging from the spring COVID surge.

State health officials reported 1,662 new COVID-19 cases and seven more deaths on Thursday. The state's seven-day average positivity was at 5.54%. Both metrics were dramatically lower than a week ago.

And after increasing for months, the number of new cases in Massachusetts schools declined for the fourth straight week. The total of 4,216 cases was a decrease of about 23.8% from last Thursday's report, when a total of 5,534 cases were identified.

What about the rest of New England?

The story across the rest of New England is just as positive. In Vermont, only Bennington, Essex and Rutland counties are medium risk, with the rest of the state falling into the low risk category.

In New Hampshire, only the far northern county of Coos is in the medium category, with the rest of the state considered low risk.

Maine's Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis and Washington counties are medium risk, with the rest of the state in the low risk category.

Most of Connecticut remains in the medium risk category, with only New London County listed as low risk.

The entire state of Rhode Island remains in the medium risk category for the third straight week.

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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