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No red in state’s COVID risk map, Fall River one of a handful in yellow

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Colin A. Young of SHNS and Ken Paiva of Fall River Reporter

JUNE 3, 2021…..For the first time since it was introduced last August, the Department of Public Health’s color-coded COVID-19 risk assessment map includes zero communities in the red, high-risk category.

Last week, Tisbury was the lone town to remain in the red category that signifies the highest risk of COVID-19 transmission. At one point in January, almost two-thirds of the state’s 351 cities and towns were “in the red.”

The risk assessment map that DPH published Thursday does not include a whole lot of color — most cities and towns are grey, meaning they’ve had 10 or fewer cases for towns with up to 50,000 residents or 15 or fewer cases for larger municipalities. Seven communities — Lawrence, Brockton, West Bridgewater, Fall River, Tisbuy, Oak Bluffs and Edgartown — are in DPH’s yellow or moderate risk category, and about 70 communities are in the green or lower risk category.

DPH on Thursday also confirmed 241 new cases of COVID-19, an increase of 141 cases compared to Wednesday and well above the state’s seven-day average of 111.1 daily new cases. Public health authorities also announced seven recent deaths associated with the coronavirus.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 decreased by 13 patients from Wednesday’s report and now stands at 203 patients, DPH said. The state’s seven-day average positive test rate dropped from 0.69 percent as of Wednesday to a new recorded low of 0.62 percent in Thursday’s update.

Since the first cases of COVID-19 was identified in Massachusetts on Feb. 1, 2020, at least 661,635 people here have become infected with the coronavirus. Since the first death was announced March 20, 2020, the virus has taken the lives of 17,893 people when counting the roughly 360 people who died with likely, but not test-confirmed, cases of COVID-19.

According to the June 3rd report, Fall River has a 10.0 Average Daily COVID-19 Rate per 100,000 population (Last 14 days) which is the highest in Bristol County (13.4 last week). New Bedford saw a decrease to 9.1 (was 15.9). Westport saw a decrease to 3.0 (was 3.4), Swansea is at 4.5, a decrease, and was 8.1 last week. Somerset saw a decrease as they sit at 3.5 (was 8.1). Freetown stands at 2.4, a decrease from 6.3. Dartmouth is currently at 3.3, a decrease from last week’s 3.9. Acushnet decreased to 4.1 (was 7.5). Berkley is at 1 and was 10.5 last week.

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