Gov. Charlie Baker announced this week that most — but not all — of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts would be able to move forward in the state’s reopening plan next Monday, amid evidence of little to no community transmission of COVID-19.
And now we know which specific communities.
The governor’s order allows “lower-risk” communities to move to the second step of Phase 3 of the reopening plan — a move that allows most indoor performance venues and higher-contact recreational attractions to reopen with restrictions — and also eases the limit on public outdoor gatherings in those cities and towns.
Lower-risk communities are defined as localities that have not been in the “red” category on the state’s color-coded COVID-19 prevalence map in any of the past three weekly Department of Public Health reports (the red category means that a community is averaging more than eight daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, which officials say puts residents at high risk of catching the disease).
According to the weekly DPH report, there are 23 communities currently in the red zone, including Boston, which was included in the high-risk category for the first time this week. Several other communities, such as Chelsea, North Andover, and Revere, reported incidence rates that were double the eight-case-per-100,000 threshold.
There are also six Massachusetts towns — Dedham, Monson, Plainville, Saugus, Tyngsborough, and Wrentham — that aren’t currently in the red zone but aren’t yet classified as a lower-risk community due to recent weekly reports.
According to officials, communities will only be allowed to move forward in the reopening plan after three consecutive weeks in the gray, green, or yellow categories. Likewise, lower-risk communities will be required to return to the first step of Phase 3 if they are in the red zone for three straight weeks.
Read the full list of communities who currently must remain in the first step below:
- New Bedford
- North Andover
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