These 23 communities have the highest risk of COVID-19 infection in the state

Eleven of the 23, including Boston, are new to the list this week.

A woman receives a COVID-19 test while visiting a Coronavirus  testing location at Brigham Health - Brookside Community Health Center.
A woman receives a COVID-19 test while visiting a Coronavirus testing location at Brigham Health - Brookside Community Health Center. –Erin Clark/Globe Staff

There are 23 communities considered at the highest risk in the state for COVID-19 transmission this week, 11 of which were not on the list last week.

The communities entering the list this week were Attleboro, Avon, Boston, Dracut, Haverhill, Lowell, Lynnfield, Methuen, Middleton, North Andover, and Springfield.

And being in the red zone now has additional repercussions since Gov. Charlie Baker announced that only communities with a lower risk – those color-coded green, gray, or yellow – will be allowed to move into the second part of Phase 3 on Monday.

A community designated red must have three consecutive weeks of being in a lower-risk category before being allowed to move into Phase 3, part two. Similarly, only communities that have been lower risk for the past 3 weeks will be allowed to move into this new reopening phase. That means communities that have moved out of the red this week – Tyngsborough, Saugus, and Wrentham – are also not eligible to move into the new part of the phase.

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Phase 3, part two allows communities to reopen things like indoor recreational attractions – roller rinks, laser tag – and will allow for higher capacity in places like gyms, libraries, or museums.

Communities designated red have an average daily incidence rate of more than 8 per 100,000 residents. Yellow means between 4 and 8 per 100,000, and green is less than 4 per 100,000. Gray communities reported less than five new cases over the last two weeks.

Individual community data map Sept. 13-26, 2020 —Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Here’s a look at each of the highest risk communities:

1. North Andover

North Andover was one of the communities added to the red zone this week with an average daily incidence rate of 26.2 per 100,000 residents. Over the last 14 days, the town has had 111 cases. There have been 8,335 tests performed over the same time period, and 119 were positive for a positivity rate of 1.43 percent. Officials there have pointed to a recent spike in cases at Merrimack College as the culprit. 

2. Lawrence

Lawrence continues to be a high-risk community with an average daily incidence rate of 25.4 per 100,000 residents. For the past two weeks, the case count there was 313, higher than in the past.

There were 6,780 tests conducted there over the lsat two weeks, and 401 were positive for a positivity rate of 5.91 percent.

3. Nantucket

Nantucket remains toward the top of the highest-risk list. Over the last two weeks, the average daily case rate was 18.9 per 100,000 residents. There were 30 cases over the same time period. A total of 961 tests were administered, and 31 were positive for a rate of 3.23 percent.

4. Chelsea

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Chelsea continues to be a high-risk community with an average of 18.8 cases per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks with 99 cases for the same time period. A total of 4,690 tests were conducted and 129 were positive for a rate of 2.75 percent.

5. Revere

Revere had an average daily case count of 17.6 per 100,000 residents over the lsat 14 days with a total case count of 150. There were 5,031 tests administered and 192 were positive for a rate of 3.82 percent.

6. Haverhill

Haverhill is new to the list of high-risk communities this week with an average daily incidence rate of 14 per 100,000 residents. There were 4,466 tests conducted and 146 were positive for a rate of 3.27 percent.

7. Everett

Everett remains a high-risk community this week with an average daily incidence rate of 13.2 per 100,000 residents, and a case count of 90. There were 4,060 tests conducted over the same period and 121 were positive for a rate of 2.98 percent.

8. Methuen (tie)

Methuen’s average daily case rate was 12.5 per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks with 94 cases over the same period. There were 3,745 tests performed and 112 were positive for a rate of 2.99 percent.

8. Middleton (tie)

Middleton had an average daily case rate of 12.5 per 100,000, the same as Methuen. There were 18 cases over the same period. A total of 529 tests were conducted and 20 were positive for a positivity rate of 3.78 percent.

10. Framingham

Framingham continues to be a high-risk community with an average daily incidence rate of 11.1 per 100,000 and a case count of 116 over the last two weeks. There were 5,511 tests administered during the same period and 137 were positive for a rate of 2.49 percent.

11. Lowell

Lowell was added to the list of highest risk communities this week with an average daily case rate of 10.9 per 100,000 and a case count of 179 for the past two weeks. There were 7,196 tests administered and 195 were positive for a positivity rate of 2.71 percent.

12. Marlborough

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Marlborough’s average daily incidence rate was 10.2 per 100,000 with a case count of 62 for the last two weeks. There were 2,978 tests conducted and 77 were positive for a positivity rate of 2.59 percent.

13. Lynn

Lynn remains on the high-risk communities list this week with an average daily case rate of 10.1 per 100,000 residents, and a total of 143 cases over the last two weeks. There were 6,068 tests conducted and 202 were positive for a rate of 3.33 percent.

14. New Bedford (tie)

New Bedford had an average daily incidence rate of 9.8 per 100,000 and 137 cases over the last two weeks. There were 5,226 tests conducted and 205 were positive for a rate of 3.92 percent.

14. Avon (tie)

Avon’s average daily case rate for the last two weeks was 9.8 per 100,000, the same as New Bedford, with a case count of six. The town conducted 245 tests and six were positive for a positivity rate of 2.45 percent.

16. Attleboro

Attleboro’s average daily incidence rate for the last two weeks was 9.3 per 100,000 residents with a case count of 60. There were 2,303 tests conducted and 73 were positive for a rate of 3.17 percent.

17. Holliston

The average daily case count for Holliston was 9.3 per 100,000 residents, the same as Attleboro, with a case count of 18 for the last 14 days. There were 1,120 tests conducted and 18 were positive for a rate of 1.61 percent.

18. Lynnfield

Lynnfield was added to the highest-risk communities this week with an average daily case count of 8.6 per 100,000 residents and a case count of 14. There were 859 tests conducted and 18 were positive for a positivity rate of 2.10 percent.

19. Boston

Boston was added to the high-risk communities list this week with an average daily case rate of 8.5 per 100,000 and a case count of 825 for the last 14 days. There were 179,475 tests conducted and 999 were positive for a rate of 0.56 percent.

20. Dracut

Dracut was added to the high-risk list this week with an average daily incidence rate of 8.4 per 100,000 residents and a case count of 38 for the past two weeks. There were 1,891 tests conducted and 42 were positive for a rate of 2.22 percent.

21. Worcester (tie)

Worcester had an average daily case rate of 8.3 per 100,000 residents and a case count of 224 for the last two weeks. There were 36,092 tests conducted and 284 were positive for a rate of 0.79 percent.

21. Springfield (tie)

Springfield was added to the red zone this week with an average daily incidence rate of 8.3 per 100,000 residents, the same as Worcester, and a case count of 183 for the last two weeks. There were 11,488 tests conducted and 221 were positive for a rate of 1.92 percent.

23. Winthrop

Winthrop had an average daily incidence rate of 8 per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks and a case count of 21. There were 2,449 tests conducted and 27 were positive for a rate of 1.10 percent.

View the full data below:


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