MASSACHUSETTS — The number of communities designated high risk for the coronavirus continued to fall dramatically in Thursday’s town-by-town state data report, as positive test rates fell in more than three-quarters of cities and towns.
The seven-day average positive test rate for the state fell to 2.65 percent, the lowest level since early Nov. Statewide case counts, hospitalizations and deaths also all fell over the last week.
Gov. Charlie Baker said as of Thursday that the state will have distributed more than one million vaccination shots over the past two months of the rollout.
Starting Thursday, those who are 75 years old and older were allowed one caregiver or companion to accompany them to the appointment and get vaccinated themselves if they register for an appointment
There were 2,213 new confirmed cases and 61 deaths Thursday.
The seven-day average of hospitalized patients was 1,419, down from 1,698 a week prior. There were 304 patients in intensive care.
The town-by-town report labeled 110 Massachusetts communities as high risk for the virus, down from 153 last week; the full list can be found at the end of this article.
The positive test rate over the last two weeks fell in 271 — or 77.2 percent — of the 351 communities in the state. The rate rose in 50 — or 14.3 percent — of communities and held steady in the remaining 30. Two-week confirmed case counts rose in just 37 communities.
There were 38.5 average daily cases per 100,000 residents of the state over that period, down from 48.9 last week.
To date, there have been 523,258 cases and 14,964 confirmed deaths statewide since the pandemic began. Officials estimate that there were 50,344 active cases as of Thursday.
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Health officials say positive coronavirus test results need to stay below 5 percent for two weeks or longer and, preferably, be closer to 2 percent, for states to safely ease restrictions. The number of communities reporting rates above 5 percent fell to 106, down from 154 last week.
Just two towns, Hancock and Tolland, reported positive test rates above 15 percent. Eighty-one reported test rates below 2 percent.
The state reported 110,792 new tests Thursday, bringing the total to 14.6 million.
The data includes coronavirus cases for all Massachusetts communities, except for those with populations under 50,000 and fewer than five cases. The department said the stipulation was designed to protect the privacy of patients in those towns and cities.
The state releases town-by-town testing data every Thursday, including the number of people tested, the testing rate, the positive test rate, cases and infection rates.
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How to use this map: Zoom in on the map below and click on a pin to see that community’s coronavirus case data. You can also view the town-by-town coronavirus data in the spreadsheet we used to create this map.
The map does not include 1,464 of the state’s cases because state health officials could not determine which communities the patients lived in.
Pin colors correspond to the state’s risk designations. Red pins are high-risk, or red, communities. Yellow pins are medium risk, green pins low risk and grey pins at most 15 total cases.
High-risk communities: Abington, Acushnet, Adams, Attleboro, Auburn, Avon, Ayer, Barnstable, Bellingham, Berkley, Blackstone, Boxford, Brewster, Bridgewater, Brockton, Carver, Chatham, Chelsea, Chicopee, Clinton, Cohasset, Dartmouth, Dedham, Dennis, Dighton, Douglas, Dracut, East Bridgewater, Eastham, Everett, Fairhaven, Fall River, Foxborough, Freetown, Gardner, Georgetown, Great Barrington, Halifax, Hamilton, Hampden, Hanover, Hanson, Haverhill, Holbrook, Holyoke, Hudson, Hull, Lakeville, Lawrence, Leominster, Littleton, Lowell, Ludlow, Lunenburg, Lynn, Malden, Marion, Marlborough, Marshfield, Methuen, Middleborough, Middleton, Monson, New Bedford, North Reading, Norwood, Orleans, Oxford, Palmer, Paxton, Peabody, Pembroke, Plainville, Plymouth, Quincy, Randolph, Raynham, Revere, Rochester, Rockland, Rutland, Salisbury, Sandwich, Saugus, Seekonk, Shirley, Somerset, Southampton, Southborough, Southbridge, Southwick, Spencer, Springfield, Sterling, Sunderland, Sutton, Swansea, Taunton, Templeton, Townsend, Ware, Webster, West Bridgewater, West Brookfield, West Springfield, Westminster, Westport, Weymouth, Whitman and Winchendon.