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State Releases Map Showing Coronavirus Test Rate In All Mass. Communities

BOSTON (CBS) -- The state is releasing a map showing coronavirus case trends in each individual community. It will be updated regularly, Gov. Baker said Tuesday.

"The good news here should not get lost: over 300 - or 318 - communities here in Massachusetts are at or below national benchmarks with respect to containing COVID in their communities. But we still have work to do," the governor said.

Towns and cities are colored red, yellow, green, or white based on the number of cases. Red indicates municipalities with more than eight cases of COVID per 100,000 people, yellow indicates municipalities between four and eight cases per 100,000, which is considered a moderate risk level, green indicates municipalities with less than four cases per 100,000, white indicates less than five total cases of COVID-19 reported in the most recent 14-day period.

coronavirus map new
Massachusetts releases new map with coronavirus case counts in every town, each ranked by a color-coded system. (Photo credit: Christina Hager - WBZ-TV)

"High-risk communities' residents need to be aware of, first of all, that they are in a high-risk community," Baker said.

Residents in high-risk communities should wear masks at all times and practice regular handwashing. Some of higher-risk communities could see additional restrictions or shutdowns with respect to parks, playgrounds, businesses, or other entities determined to have been part of the spread.

"We want to help parents, families, and individuals make smart decisions about their daily activities. We're asking families in moderate and high-risk communities to avoid having big play dates and avoid big gatherings with multiple neighbors and friends," said Baker. "Regardless of where your community sits, COVID is not going away."

A total of 33 communities have had more than 4 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 people during the last two weeks. The governor said the state will work to help local governments with their unique needs to fight coronavirus.

The four high-risk communities are Chelsea, Everett, Revere and Lynn.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito added, "Our Commonwealth is only as strong as each of our 351 communities, and our goal remains to defeat COVID-19 here in all of Massachusetts."

Baker and Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders warned that becoming relaxed with guidelines can lead to an uptick in cases.

"If you gather with other people, keep it small. We're getting lax," said Sudders. "As a reminder, the governor's gatherings order has been updated to limit outdoor gatherings to 50 people. The order also now requires face coverings at private events where more than 10 people from different households will be mixing."

Baker said the change in the order and the creation of the COVID Enforcement and Intervention Team was partially based off of complaints. "Part of the reason for changing the rules was one of the things we heard from local communities is, 'there's not a lot I can do in my community with private gatherings.' But I do think private gatherings are a problem."

He said the goal would be to get more people to wear masks and abide by the order. "Nobody is looking to arrest people and write citations unless people literally refuse to play by the rules associated with the orders."

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