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Framingham Back in MA Covid-19 Red Zone as Cases Soar

Framingham is back in the state’s Covid-19 high-risk red zone after cases soared 26% this week compared to the prior period, according to data released today by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

And, that’s despite an estimated one-third of residents having some vaccine protection by receiving at least one shot. Around 18% of city residents are considered fully vaccinated, according to DPH data as of March 30.

The city had 39.9 daily known new Covid-19 infections per 100,000 people over the last 14 days, compared with 31.7 in last week’s report. Test positivity rose to 4.03% vs 3.29% last week. That positivity is more than double the state-wide rate of 2.01%. The statewide rate of average new infections was 21.5.

In a bit of good news, testing was also up compared with the last two weeks. However, number of tests were only up 5.6%, considerably less than the rise in cases.

Framingham Public Schools reported 16 cases this week, including six at Framingham High School, according to the school system’s dashboard. And, Framingham State University reported 11 case on March 29 and 30.

The state says cities of 50,000 or more should have both 10+ daily new cases per 100K and test positivity of at least 4% to be in the red zone. Framingham has had red-zone case numbers for weeks, but this is the first time since early February that positivity topped 4%.

The CDC, on the other hand, considers a community in its high-risk red zone if it has either 100 total cases per 100K over 7 days – a daily rate of around 14.3 – or test positivity above 10%. According to my rough estimate, most of Massachusetts is in the CDC red zone. (The state reports cases over 14 days, not 7, so this is approximate.)

CDC Risk Zone Map