Fairhaven, Fall River and Berkley Enter COVID-19 ‘Red Zone’
Three more South Coast communities have joined the list of Massachusetts towns and cities deemed high-risk locations for the spread of COVID-19.
Fairhaven, Fall River, and Berkley are now colored red on the online map that's updated every Wednesday by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The communities join New Bedford, Acushnet and Dartmouth in the high-risk category. New Bedford remains in the red zone for the sixth straight week.
For the first time, Mattapoisett entered the yellow zone for moderate risk. The state's interactive map may be viewed on the MassDPH website.
The green, yellow and red categories are based upon how many daily new cases per 100,000 population are reported over a two-week average in any particular community. A rate of 8 new cases per day per 100,000 population will result in a high-risk designation. Communities with fewer than 5 cases are not given a designation
Over the last week, Acushnet saw its daily rate move from 9.6 to 13.7; New Bedford's grew from 10 to 12.2; Fairhaven's increased from 6.2 to 9.8; and Dartmouth moved from from a 9.1 to 9.7 incidence rate. Fall River this week inched into the red zone with a daily rate of 8.54 and a two-week case count of 107.
Governor Charlie Baker this week outlined progress the state has made since early spring in building Massachusetts' health care and economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and outlined a fall preparedness plan to confront an expected increase in cases. The state now administers around 65,000 tests every day, propelled in large part by a "Stop the Spread" initiative with sites in 18 of the highest-risk communities.
Under the initiative, free testing for all has been set up in Brockton, Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Framingham, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lynn, Marlborough, Methuen, New Bedford, Randolph, Revere, Salem, Saugus, Springfield, Winthrop, and Worcester. People living in those communities are urged to get tested whether they are experiencing symptoms or not.