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Fall River’s red COVID-19 designation officially to be changed back to yellow today due to reporting error

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(Fall River, MA- August 14th, 2020)- After continued collaboration and conversation between state and municipal officials, the State of Massachusetts has confirmed that the City of Fall River was incorrectly labelled as a high risk (or “red”) community, as announced on Thursday, August 13th.

According to the Mayor’s Office, in an email to Mayor Paul Coogan, Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders clarified that “a reporting issue by one commercial lab over a three day period resulted in a disproportionate number of false positive COVID 19 test results”, which lead to the State’s change in risk status for Fall River.

Previously, Fall River’s incidence rate was reported at 8.3 per 100,000 residents for the two week period of 7/26/20-8/8/20. The corrected incidence rate is 7.4 per 100,000, placing Fall River in the yellow, or moderate risk, category.

Yesterday, Fall River saw 1 new case of COVID-19 after the city was labeled high risk.

After noticing that state reports did not align with those accessed by Fall River’s Public Health department, Mayor Paul Coogan and Fall River’s Board of Health worked throughout Thursday with Secretary Sudders, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and the Massachusetts Covid-19 Command Center to resolve this issue.

“We are pleased to have been able to reach an understanding with the State and help put Fall River residents at ease,” said Mayor Paul Coogan. “This is an important step towards making sure we are on the right path here in Fall River. We are pleased with our testing efforts and will continue to work with the State of Massachusetts to move from yellow to green.”

A formal notice from the State of Massachusetts is expected today to publicly confirm this discrepancy, as well as updates to the State’s data reports.

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