Hampshire and Franklin Counties remain moderate risk of transmitting COVID-19

Coronavirus Local Impact

(WWLP) – The CDC ranks each county in the U.S. by four different levels of community transmission of COVID-19.

According to CDC data collected from July 27 through August 2, Hampshire and Franklin Counties are the only counties in the state of Massachusetts that rank as “moderate”. The four levels are low, moderate, substantial, and high.

The CDC guidance issued last week recommends that everyone in a place with a “substantial” or “high” coronavirus transmission rate wear a face-covering indoor public places regardless of vaccination status.

Hampshire County has 61 positive COVID-19 cases of 5,422 tested with 0.68% positivity rate for the week reported. There were two people admitted to the hospital. Residents that are fully vaccinated are 55.4% (89,158) of the total population.

Franklin County has 16 positive COVID-19 cases of 1,582 tested with 0.44% positivity rate for the week reported. There was one person admitted to the hospital. Residents that are fully vaccinated are 56.4% (39,599) of the total population.

Greenfield Health Director Jennifer Hoffman told 22News when it comes to wearing a mask if your vaccinated, it’s what you feel comfortable with, “I don’t feel like there should be an alarm going off. I think people should use their discretion when they’re out and about, I think people if they don’t feel comfortable and they feel they need to wear a mask, then wear a mask.”

There are three counties listed as “high” and the remaining counties including Hampden and Berkshire Counties are listed as “substantial”.

CDC: Level of Transmission by County

  1. Barnstable County – High, 240 cases
  2. Berkshire County – Substantial, 92 cases
  3. Bristol County – High, 578 cases
  4. Dukes County – Substantial, 11 cases
  5. Essex County – Substantial, 487 cases
  6. Franklin County – Moderate, 16 cases
  7. Hampden County – Substantial, 389 cases
  8. Hampshire County – Moderate, 61 cases
  9. Middlesex County – Substantial, 965 cases
  10. Nantucket County – High, 46 cases
  11. Norfolk County – Substantial, 412 cases
  12. Plymouth County – Substantial, 401 cases
  13. Suffolk County – Substantial, 688 cases
  14. Worcester County – Substantial, 512 cases

The CDC recommends people in substantial or high transmission areas wear a mask indoors in public places to reduce the risk of being infected with the Delta variant. Anyone with a weakened immune system regardless of transmission level are also encouraged to wear a mask.

“Just doing your own errands, I’m kind of scanning, like how many people are out wearing masks or not,” said Julia Sherratt of Greenfield.

“Franklin County has been a great place to be but with Delta rising, I’m hoping everybody starts wearing masks again,” said Pam Kelly of Greenfield.

At Greenfield Community College, they’re offering free COVID-19 testing to anyone who needs it by appointment only and Hoffman said as of late, more and more people are getting tests.

“They’re expanding their hours and we are actually going to be open through the state through October 31st,” said Hoffman.

She said vaccination efforts continue in Franklin County, hoping to reach herd immunity.

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