What Caused Coronavirus Spikes In New High-Risk Communities In MA | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools

MASSACHUSETTS — The state’s coronavirus update last week elevated six communities to high-risk status, bringing the total to 13. Chatham, Dedham, Lynnfield, Methuen, Monson and New Bedford joined Chelsea, Everett, Framingham, Lawrence, Lynn, Revere and Winthrop.

Most communities publicly tied the spike in COVID-19 cases to a particular cluster. Officials have often pointed fingers at parties and restaurants.

Parties in particular have forced several communities to make late adjustments in how school reopens, even for communities outside the “red” level.

At Dover-Sherborn Regional High School, a hybrid plan set to start Tuesday shifted to online-only after reports of some 150 unmasked students at a party. The same decision was made at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School after 50-60 students, without masks, were found partying. Many students ran away when their party busted, hampering efforts in identifying them.

Communities shaded red in the map have seen more than eight confirmed coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week span. The state recently allocated additional resources into many such communities.

Communities shaded yellow have between four and eight cases per 100,000 residents and are considered at moderate risk; communities shaded green have fewer than four cases per 100,000 residents; and communities shaded white have fewer than five cases confirmed over the two-week span.

Coronavirus statistics for the period of Aug. 23-Sept. 5:

Two-week case count: 7
Two-week positivity rate: 3.7
Average daily incidence rate per 100,000: 8.54

“The latest cluster of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts was traced back to the popular Chatham Squire restaurant. At least seven employees at the restaurant tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Boston Herald.” Patch

Dedham

Two-week case count: 37
Two-week positivity rate: 2.65

Average daily incidence rate per 100,000: 9.74

“Just a week before school is set to restart in Dedham, a series of parties is being blamed as the source of a COVID-19 cluster that brought the town’s numbers up to the state designated red level. Because of the cluster, the School Committee unanimously voted to postpone in-person classes.” Patch

Lynnfield

Two-week case count: 18
Two-week positivity rate: 2.35
Average daily incidence rate per 100,000: 11.04

Town health officials did not respond to Patch.

Methuen

Two-week case count: 253
Two-week positivity rate: 5.27
Average daily incidence rate per 100,000: 20.49

A health official told Patch its questions needed to be run up the ladder, but no response followed.

Monson

Two-week case count: 10
Two-week positivity rate: 2.77
Average daily incidence rate per 100,000: 8.47

“A private party has led to an outbreak of coronavirus cases in Monson, making the small town the region’s only high-risk community and delaying the start of school.” MassLive

New Bedford

Two-week case count: 143
Two-week positivity rate: 4.5
Average daily incidence rate per 100,000: 10.26

“Two isolated outbreaks — one at an independent storefront church and another at a nursing home — have elevated New Bedford’s risk level for COVID-19.” Mayor Jon Mitchell


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