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Coronavirus Cases: Massachusetts Releases Town-By-Town Numbers

BOSTON (CBS) -- Massachusetts is now reporting the number of coronavirus cases by cities and towns. Previously, the state had only been releasing case totals by county.

Boston has the highest number of cases at 4,609, followed by Brockton at 1,202; Worcester at 886; Lawrence at 814 and Lynn with 745. But Chelsea has the highest rate of cases per 100,000 people (1890.37).  Brockton, Randolph and Williamstown also have rates of more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 residents.

View: Full Town-By-Town Breakdown

"Starting today, we will release novel coronavirus cases by cities and towns, as the state takes additional steps to assess and report the burden of infection across the state," Health and Human Services Sec. Marylou Sudders said at an earlier news conference. "This new reporting, which will be updated weekly each Wednesday, marks the latest in a series of new data points and information that we recently made publicly available."

Numbers will not be reported in smaller towns with fewer than five cases. Sudders had previously declined to make town-by-town numbers public, citing privacy concerns.

"Having the ability to look at this virus through the lens of its impact on specific cities and towns will help us identify potential hotspots, inform the public health response, assist cities and towns working to slow the spread, and help the state appropriately, deploy resources," Sudders said.

Sudders said the state has always been sharing data with local municipalities, who have been deciding for themselves if they want to make the numbers public.

As of Wednesday there were nearly 30,000 coronavirus cases reported in Massachusetts.

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