Two communities in western Massachusetts are in the COVID-19 “red zone,” while nearly two dozen more have also seen an uptick in cases and have been placed into “yellow zones.”
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health released its weekly COVID-19 health report on Thursday, March 18, highlighting the areas of the state that have seen an increase in new cases in relation to the area's population.
Under the state’s new criteria, the Department of Public Health is taking population size into account when determining which are deemed “high-risk,” “medium-risk,” or “low-risk.”
In the latest data released by the department, two Hampden County towns, Chicopee and Southwick placed in the “red zone” and are at high risk for spreading COVID-19.
A community with a population under 10,000 with more than 25 cases is considered a “red zone.”
Communities with a population between 10,000 and 50,000 with more than 10 average cases per 100,000 residents and a 5 percent positivity rate and municipalities with a population greater than 50,000 with more than 10 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 and a positivity rate above 4 percent are also put in the “red zone.”
Communities in the “yellow zone,” which means they are a moderate threat to spread the virus in Massachusetts:
- East Longmeadow;
- South Hadley;
- West Springfield;
“The public health risk reduction measures remain the same,” health officials said. “Individuals must continue to wear masks or face coverings while out in public, maintain 6-foot social distancing, stay home when you are sick, and get tested if you have symptoms or are identified as a close contact.”
The complete report from the Department of Health can be found here.
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