LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Three new western Massachusetts communities have crossed into the high-risk territory for COVID-19 Thursday.
The new communities, Hampden, Ludlow, and Southwick, are listed in the red zone, meaning more than 25 COVID-19 cases were reported in one week. The newly added areas join Springfield, West Springfield, Chicopee, and Holyoke, which were listed as high-risk since last week.
Seven western Massachusetts cities and towns are currently designated as high risk for COVID-19 community spread following the state’s most recent risk assessment report.
New COVID-19 high-risk zones, as defined by average daily case count per 100 thousand residents and population size. Ludlow is the only new medium-sized community designated as high risk with between 10 and 50,000 residents.
Ludlow Public Schools has had 328 students who have had their education disrupted because of COVID-19. Superintendent Todd Gazda said, in addition, 58 staff have had to miss work because of COVID-19 testing, symptoms, or exposure. The rate is increasing with 25% of the students impacted being from the last 10 days alone. If numbers continue to rise the school system will be forced into remote learning after Thanksgiving.
The DPH data also shows 15 local areas listed in the yellow zone (moderate risk), meaning less than or equal to 25 COVID-19 cases were reported in a week: Agawam, Amherst, Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Hatfield, Westfield, Wilbraham, Longmeadow, Monson, Northampton, Ware, Palmer, Pittsfield, and South Hadley.
Brimfield, Greenfield, North Adams, Southampton, and Sunderland are all listed as low risk.