MASSACHUSETTS — Forty communities were designated high-risk in the new town-by-town data released by the state Wednesday, up from 23 the week before. Positive test rates rose in over half of the state’s 351 communities.
The positive test rate over the last two weeks increased in 176— or 50.1 percent — of the 351 communities in the state. The rate fell in 68 — or 19.4 percent — communities and held steady in the remaining 148.
State rules mean that high-risk communities, plus others that were high-risk in the last two updates, cannot move on to the next phase of reopening. Towns were marked high-risk, or red, if they reported more than eight confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks.
With Wednesday’s update, Dedham, Monson and Plainville cleared the required three weeks without being marked high-risk, and can move forward. A number of other communities were