TYNGSBORO — Tyngsboro has been listed among the six new communities classified as at high risk for coronavirus transmission, according to state data released Wednesday.

The number of cities and towns labeled high risk has more than doubled over the past two weeks, jumping to 17 this week from 13 last week and eight the week prior, according to the state Department of Public Health.

The 17 communities represent the highest number in the hot zone since the state started reporting weekly data using a color-coded risk assessment system in August that shades high-risk communities in red.

Aside from Tyngsboro, the six new communities on the high-risk list include Saugus, Nantucket, Plainville, Worcester and Wrentham. They joined Chelsea, Dedham, Everett, Framingham, Lawrence, Lynn, Lynnfield, Monson, New Bedford, Revere and Winthrop.

Communities in the red zone reported a daily average of eight or more COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the two-week period ending Saturday. According to the state’s data, Tyngsboro has averaged 8.9 cases per 100,000 residents over that time period.

The number of moderate-risk communities — those with four to eight cases per 100,000 residents — was 36 this week. Classified as moderate-risk communities were Lowell (6.4 cases), Chelmsford (5.6 cases) and Dracut (4.2 cases).

Roughly 80 cities and towns were listed as low-risk, with an average of less than four cases per 100,000 residents. They include Billerica (three cases), along with Tewksbury and Westford, both with 1.9 cases.

The data shows statewide, the average is 4.6 cases per 100,000 residents.

Public health officials reported 295 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday and 20 more deaths as the average positive test rate remained at the state’s record low of 0.8%.

The 20 new deaths bring the state’s confirmed COVID-19 toll to 9,036. The total number of confirmed and probable fatalities stands at 9,245.

The 295 new cases bring the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases to 123,720. Another 11 probable cases were reported Wednesday, for a combined confirmed and probable case total of 125,699.

The state also reported cumulative testing among colleges and universities for the first time this week, saying there have been 499 cumulative cases confirmed at the 59 schools doing testing on campus. Of those, 168 were reported since last week.

Overall, colleges and universities have conducted 518,904 tests for the novel virus and 532 have come back positive. Some 153,675 of those tests were conducted in the last week alone.

There are now more than 29.6 million cases of the novel coronavirus worldwide, with 6.6 million in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. The global death toll has topped 937,000, including more than 196,000 deaths in the U.S. More than 20 million people have recovered worldwide, including nearly 2.5 million Americans.


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