Massachusetts is among only 4 states on track to containing coronavirus, one model shows

The commonwealth's COVID-19 preparedness "meets or exceeds international standards," according to Covid Act Now.

Pedestrians wear masks out of concern for the coronavirus Sunday while walking along a sidewalk in Boston.
Pedestrians wear masks out of concern for the coronavirus Sunday while walking along a sidewalk in Boston. –AP Photo/Steven Senne

Massachusetts is among only a handful of states that is on its way to containing COVID-19, according to one model.

The tool, created by Covid Act Now, a collection of epidemiologists, health and public policy experts, and technologists, shows the commonwealth is one of four states “on track” to stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

The other states are nearby, too: Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, which encompassed some of the hardest hit areas when the pandemic emerged in the United States in March.

As of Sunday, Massachusetts had logged 108,667 total probable and confirmed cases, data from the state Department of Public Health shows. The state has seen 8,060 related deaths over the course of the pandemic.

Advertisement

According to data collected by Covid Act Now that was last updated Friday, Massachusetts is seeing the number of active cases dropping; can likely handle a new wave of COVID-19; has sufficient testing capacity; and has conducted enough contact tracing to help contain the virus.

“Massachusetts is on track to contain COVID,” Covid Act Now says on its website. “Cases are steadily decreasing and Massachusetts’s COVID preparedness meets or exceeds international standards.”

The data shows the state’s infection rate has dropped to .75 from a peak of 2.76 in March.

“On average, each person in Massachusetts with COVID is infecting 0.75 other people,” the group says. “Because each person is infecting less than one other person, the total number of current cases in Massachusetts is shrinking.”

Meanwhile, the positive test rate is at 2.3 percent, down from an apex of 28.9 percent on April 15 in the Bay State.

“A low percentage (2.3%) of COVID tests were positive, which suggests enough widespread, aggressive testing in Massachusetts to detect most new cases,” Covid Act Now said. “Identifying and isolating new cases can help contain COVID without resorting to lockdowns.”

Massachusetts is currently in the second part of Phase 2 in its four-stage reopening plan. As of last week, restaurants are now able to offer indoor dining to customers once again, thanks to declining metrics, officials said.

Advertisement

“Per best available data, Massachusetts has 2,500 contact tracers,” Covid Act Now said. “With an average of 202 new daily cases, we estimate Massachusetts needs 1,010 contact tracing staff to trace all new cases in 48 hours, before too many other people are infected. This means that Massachusetts is likely able to trace 100 percent of new COVID infections in 48 hours. When this level of tracing is coupled with widely available testing, COVID can be contained without resorting to lockdowns.”

Probably not coincidentally, Massachusetts is also among the top four states in the country for regular mask usage, according to data collected by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

Elsewhere in New England, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island have all “controlled disease growth,” the Covid Act Now map shows.

Meanwhile, cases in Arizona, Florida, and Texas have surged recently, boosting the number of cases recorded in the country past 2.5 million on Sunday, The Washington Post reports.

The latest model from Covid Act Now says Arizona is experiencing an “active or imminent outbreak” along with Missouri and Alabama. Texas and Florida are “at risk.”


Get Boston.com's e-mail alerts:

Sign up and receive coronavirus news and breaking updates, from our newsroom to your inbox.

Jump To Comments