Green is good but gray is better, and nine of the 10 communities in The Sun Chronicle coverage area are now in the latter color zone, according to the state Department of Public Health.
Gray is the lowest of four color-coded categories established by the state to reflect a communities rate of infection.
The coronavirus has killed at least 17,530 Massachusetts residents and sickened at least 661,635 since it hit in March of 2020.
If probable deaths and cases are included, those numbers go to 17,893 and 707,523, respectively.
This is the first time that nine area communities have been in the gray zone since the state adopted its ranking system in late August.
Attleboro is the only area community not in the gray. It’s in the green, the zone indicating the second lowest rate of infection.
For the week ending June 3, area communities recorded just 17 new cases, the fewest in a seven-day period since the week ending Aug. 26 — and likely ever.
Out of the 10 area communities, five — Norton, Norfolk, Plainville, Seekonk and Wrentham — recorded no new cases.
Attleboro recorded the most, seven, which is one less than the week ending May 27.
The low numbers came on the same day Gov. Charlie Baker announced a shutdown schedule for mass vaccination sites.
The highest number of new cases for the area since Aug. 26 was 914, recorded in the week ending Dec. 10.
The 17 from the week ending June 3 represents a 98 percent drop from that number.
That mirrors the statewide decline over the last month from 9,108 per week to 1,723 per week, a drop of 81 percent.
The only bad news is that three deaths have been added, bringing the area-wide total to 292.
Those deaths were reported in Attleboro, bringing the city’s toll to 122.
The area’s average positive test percentage is under 1 percent at 0.81 and its incidence rate, or the average number of new cases over a 14-day period per a population of 100,000, is 1.93.
At the height of the pandemic in early January, those numbers were much higher.
For the week ending Jan. 14 the positive test percentage was 9.18 and the incidence rate was 62.5 for the area.