With increasing numbers of Massachusetts communities falling into the state’s Covid-19 red zone, the Baker administration responded by changing the scale so that dozens of places formerly in the red zone now qualify as yellow.
That includes Framingham. Under the old scale, anyplace with a known infection rate of 8.0 per 100,000 or more was deemed red-zone high risk. The new scale says that any city of 50,000 or more hits red at a level of 10.0 known cases per 100,000 and a positivity rate of 4% or more. Hitting only one of those thresholds classifies a city as yellow.
This is the first time the Baker administration has considered positivity rates when color-coding communities.
Despite the move from red to yellow, Framingham’s known cases and positivity rates were both up from last week, according to data released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health today: 15.6 per 100,000 people in the most recent 14-day period vs. 11.6 a week ago, and 2.42% test positivity vs. 2.17%. However, rates remained lower than mid-October.
Number of tests increased again in Framingham during the most recent 14-day period.
The state’s new scale places Massachusetts as a whole in its new yellow zone.
New Covid-19 color coding scale for Massachusetts communities
However, CovidExitStrategy.org, which looks at multiple metrics, rates Massachusetts as having “uncontrolled spread,” its worst ranking.
The statewide average for known new cases per 100,000 was 15.3, and positivity was 1.84%.
Hospitalizations statewide are up 71% in the past 30 days and have more than tripled since summertime lows. Deaths state-wide have risen 31%.
Framingham reported four more known new deaths from Covid-19 since Wednesday, bring the total known fatalities since the pandemic began to 150, and 45 known new cases.
MWRA wastewater tests
Tests for Covid-19 virus traces in MWRA wastewater, considered a possible leading indicator for future infections, have been rising. Below is a graph of available sample results. Framingham is in the South region, along with about 20 other communities including Ashland, Natick, Wellesley, and portions of Newton, Brookline, and Boston.
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