Acushnet, Dartmouth Join State’s COVID-19 ‘Red Zone’
Two more South Coast communities are now painted red on the state's interactive coronavirus risk map, and another has jumped from green to yellow.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health updates its online map every Wednesday, designating communities as red, yellow, or green for high, moderate, or low risk for transmission of COVID-19. Towns with fewer than five cases are not assigned a color.
As of Oct. 7, Acushnet and Dartmouth were deemed "high risk" after reporting an average of more than eight new cases per day per 100,000 population. The two communities now join New Bedford, which has remained in the state's red zone for five weeks.
Freetown this week jumped from green to yellow, joining Lakeville and Fall River. Westport, Swansea, and Middleboro are painted green. The island of Nantucket remains red.
In Western Massachusetts, the towns of Amherst and Sunderland are now deemed high-risk following outbreaks tied to the return of students at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
There are now 40 communities deemed high-risk by the state. That's up from 23 the week before. High-risk communities may not adopt the next step of the state's re-opening plan. Under "Phase 3, Step 2," lower risk communities may, among other things, re-open indoor and outdoor performance venues with 50 percent capacity and a maximum of 250 people.
Statewide, Massachusetts reported an additional 509 confirmed cases on Wednesday and 19 COVID-related deaths, bringing the confirmed death toll to 9,342.