coronavirus graphic from CDC

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Attleboro and Rehoboth moved into the state’s coronavirus red zone this week while Plainville escaped it, according to statistics released by the Mass. Department of Public Health on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Norfolk and Seekonk remained in the red while the other five towns in The Sun Chronicle circulation area remained in the yellow zone, the second-highest of the state’s color-coded categories that measure coronavirus risk.

So far this week, the state has averaged 2,316 confirmed new cases per day and 165 probable new cases per day.

If those figures hold, at the end of the week there will be 16,214 confirmed and 1,156 probable.

Combining the two, there would be 17,370 new cases which would be the greatest weekly number recorded by the state to date.

The previous high was 16,976 for the week ending April 25.

The good news is that the average of 28 confirmed coronavirus deaths per day this week plus less than one unconfirmed death per day projects to 198 deaths for the week and a 1.13 percent death rate.

That is much lower than the death rate of 6.47 percent that was recorded for the 1,170 deaths for the 16,976 cases in the week ending April 25.

Statewide, the overall death rate since the beginning of the pandemic in March is 5.43 percent, with 10,435 deaths and 192,050 cases.

To date there are 170 known coronavirus deaths in the 10-community Sun Chronicle area and 4,018 cases, which is an overall death rate of 4.23 percent.

However most of those deaths occurred early in the pandemic.

Over the last two weeks, seven new deaths have been recorded along with 913 new cases for a death rate of .8 percent.

Attleboro was pushed into the red zone with a daily average of 35.1 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days and a positive test rate of 6.38 percent.

All communities except Norfolk and Plainville recorded higher daily averages and higher positive test rates.

Norfolk and Plainville both declined.

Communities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000 are considered to be in the red zone if they have an average of at least 10 new cases per day over 14 days per 100,000 people and a positive test rate at or over 5 percent.

Communities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000 are considered to be in the yellow zone if they have an average of at least 10 new cases per day over 14 days per 100,000 people or a positive test rate of 5 percent or greater.

For communities with populations under 10,000 the rules are different. Their designations are based solely on the total number of cases.

Plainville is the only community in The Sun Chronicle’s area with a population under 10,000 and is in the yellow zone because it had a total caseload of 23 cases over 14 days.

To be in the red zone it would have to have more than 25 cases over 14 days.

George W. Rhodes can be reached at 508-236-0432.

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(1) comment


I don't understand why Attleboro breaks the kinds into two groups and then has them go to school one after the other? So group A goes Monday the group B on Tuesday. So now A has contaminated...well everything so no group B has a better chance of cross exposure. Why not do A two days, deep clean Wednesday the group B goes two days? Way less inter mingle of what is supposed to be two separated groups.

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