Saturday, November 7, 2020

With rejiggered COVID-19 map accounting for population, many MA communities move out of red zone

From CommonWealth Magazine we share an article of interest for Franklin:

"WITH THE NUMBER of Massachusetts communities considered high-risk for COVID-19 growing at an alarming rate, the Baker administration on Friday changed the metrics it uses to set risk levels and cut the number of municipalities designated as red by 87 percent.

The administration had been using a one-size-fits-all system for determining whether a community was low (gray and green), moderate (green), or high (red) risk based on the average number of cases per 100,000 people over the previous two weeks.

On Friday a new system was rolled out that lumps communities into three different groups based on population size and then measures risk for each group using different metrics – the number of overall cases in smaller communities and a combination of cases per 100,000 and the positive test rate (positive cases divided by total tests) in the larger ones. Even the cutoff for the red, or high-risk, designation was raised from 8 to 10 cases per 100,000 people.

Using the new metrics, the number of red communities plummeted, falling from 121 a week ago to 16 on Friday. The number of moderate risk yellow communities increased from 76 to 91 and the number of low-risk gray and green communities jumped from 197 to 244."

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"One day after unexpectedly delaying the release of a weekly COVID-19 risk map, Massachusetts health officials revealed that the next edition of the map will be adjusted for the population of the state’s cities and towns.

Administration officials revealed the first revised map with the new calculations Friday afternoon.

Since the first edition of the map, the Department of Public Health has categorized communities into four color groups — gray, green, yellow and red — based primarily on the average daily rate of new virus cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period.

But only a handful of the state’s 351 cities and towns have a population greater than 100,000. Nearly half have populations smaller than 10,000."

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