(WWLP) – The COVID-19 situation is improving in Massachusetts and across the Northeast, but cases are climbing elsewhere in the country.
The CDC’s weekly update to its county-level COVID risk map has moved Franklin County out of the “High” risk category, and into the “Medium” risk category. Hampden, Hampshire, and Berkshire Counties were all in the “Medium” category last week, and remain there this week.
Elsewhere in Massachusetts, three Boston-area counties remain at “High” risk level: Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk Counties. Worcester, Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket Counties are at “Medium” risk, while Essex and Bristol Counties are at “Low” risk.
In Connecticut, six of the state’s eight counties (Litchfield, Hartford, Tolland, Windham, New Haven, and Middlesex) are in the “Medium” risk level, while Fairfield and New London Counties are at “Low” risk.
While things are improving here in the Northeast, nationwide, the number of counties considered to be at “High” risk increased by more than 2% over the past week, and the number of counties at “Medium” risk increased by nearly 10%, while the number of “Low” risk counties dropped by more than 12%.
The levels are determined by taking into account the number of cases, the percentage of test positivity, the number of deaths, the percentage of population that is fully vaccinated, and new hospital admissions over a seven-day period.
The CDC recommends that people in areas deemed “High” risk wear a face covering in all public places, regardless of vaccination status, while people in “Medium” risk are encouraged to talk to their healthcare providers about masking and taking other precautions if they are at high risk for severe illness.