coronavirus graphic from CDC (copy)

As of Tuesday, Foxboro had 27 new active cases of coronavirus.

A week after being designated a COVID-19 hot spot by state health officials, Foxboro appears to be on the mend – dropping from red to green in the state’s four-tier, color-coded ranking system.

But appearances can be deceiving.

As it turns out, the miraculous recovery does not reflect an actual reduction in caseloads. In fact, the town’s numbers have increased since the previous reporting period. Rather, Foxboro’s new-found green zone status stems from changes in the complex formulas used to calculate daily average incidence rates.

According to Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Kenvin, Foxboro had reported 27 active COVID cases as of Tuesday evening, and continues to record positive cases almost on a daily basis. In particular, Kenvin on Tuesday night said the town has been afflicted by growing numbers of “household clusters,” where a family member inadvertently transmits the virus to others in the household.

Other culprits include casual social gatherings, including car-pooling, he said.

But because the state’s metrics have been tweaked to account for size and community population, Foxboro’s coronavirus ranking has gone from worst to second-best.

“I can tell you the metrics are very complicated,” Kenvin told selectmen. Reiterating assurances that in-person learning is safe for local schoolchildren, Kenvin nonetheless said it remains “imperative” to wear masks.

and practice social distancing whenever possible.

Noting that her own family had experienced a positive COVID test, Selectwoman Stephanie McGowan commended Kenvin both for his professional follow-up and for taking a personal interest in their well-being.

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