As Massachusetts recorded just 17 new coronavirus fatalities on Monday, the state’s lowest COVID-19 death toll since the early days of the pandemic, the commonwealth also now has the lowest COVID-19 transmission rate in the U.S., according to a website that has been compiling each state’s data and tracking transmission trends.
In the Bay State, the current “Rt” for the coronavirus — a measure of a virus’s average reproduction rate at any given point in time — is estimated to be 0.68, according to Rt.live.
The Rt value, which in Mass. is safely below the 1.0 marker that represents rapid spread, allows researchers to estimate the average number of people one infected person may spread the virus to.
These downward trends in key public health indicators come as the state took the next step in Phase 2 of its reopening plan Monday.
The District of Columbia currently matches Massachusetts’s low transmission rate, according to the site, and a few other New England states are close behind — Connecticut’s rate is estimated at 0.73, both Rhode Island and Maine’s rate is estimated at 0.84, and New Hampshire’s rate is estimated at 0.90.
In total, there are 29 states, including Vermont, with an Rt value at or above 1.
The highest Rt rate belongs to Hawaii at an estimated 1.57.