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Framingham Covid-19 Levels Down Further; City Remains in Yellow Zone

Framingham’s known new Covid-19 cases dropped again this week, according to data released today by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Average daily new cases declined to 28.6 per 100,000 population, and positivity dropped to 3.16%.

Number of tests administered to Framingham residents rose from the prior 14-day period, even as number of cases declined.

Framingham was below the state’s average of 30 new cases per 100K but its test positivity was higher than the state-wide 2.7%.

This data is more good news, especially since Framingham had been substantially higher than state and area averages for months. However, I remain concerned about whether there’s enough testing being done among the city’s highest risk population in low-income, high-density areas of downtown. That’s a concern for many obvious reasons, including whether city officials use overall averages to decide on the safety of in-person schooling, without knowing whether there are still hot spots flaring in some neighborhoods.

Former city health director Dr. Samuel Wong had lobbied for free state testing in Framingham in part because high infection rates in some lower income neighborhoods were being masked by less worrisome city-wide averages. And while the city is fortunate to still have a free testing center, the location moved to a Framingham State University parking lot and requires a car. Free walk-in testing downtown closed in December.

In addition, the city’s total number of reported cases in the last seven days is still above the CDC’s new school guideline levels of 100 or more per 100K for “highest risk of transmission.” The city had about 187 per 100,000 people.

Framingham’s latest Covid-19 demographic report released by the city this week said the median age of those infected by the virus this year was 35. The median age of those who died from the virus was 74.

Elsewhere in Massachusetts

Most MetroWest communities are now out of the red zone. You can see known Covid-19 infections per capita elsewhere in Massachusetts in the map and table below: