After 5 months in high-risk COVID 'red,' Brockton now dropping to 'yellow' Thursday – Enterprise News


Cody Shepard
 
| The Enterprise

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BROCKTON — After nearly five months in the high-risk COVID-19 “red,” Brockton will officially drop back to the “yellow,” at moderate risk for the coronavirus, on Thursday evening.

Brockton entered the highest risk category on Oct. 7 after five weeks in the “yellow.” Each week since then, the city has remained in the “red” in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Weekly Public Health Report.

But that will change Thursday evening when the official report is released about 5 p.m.

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Brockton averaged 24.8 new COVID-19 cases per day per 100,000 residents from Feb. 14 to 27, which is the period used to calculate the data in Thursday’s report. That remains well above the 10 cases per day per 100,000 people that would put a community with over 100,000 residents into the “red,” but the risk assessment also takes test positivity rate into account.

Over the last two weeks, 3.78 percent of Brockton residents who were tested for COVID-19 were found to be positive.

Communities that have more than 50,000 residents, which Brockton does, have to have both a test positivity rate over 4 percent and more than 10 cases per day per 100,000 people over two weeks to be in the high-risk “red.”

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“I’m proud that Brockton has made advances in this fight against COVID-19 but there is more work to do and we must stay vigilant,” Mayor Robert Sullivan said. “Working with private businesses and our government partners, we created reliable testing and now have a vaccination center that is inoculating our citizens daily. We have lost more than 400 Brocktonians and we should all honor their memory as we move forward. We have taken on this fight together and it has been the monumental challenge of all of our lifetimes. We must continue to work together as we rebuild and recover.”

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Dr. Richard Herman, the city’s pandemic consultant and a former chief of emergency medicine at Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, said the city dropping to the “yellow” is encouraging, but not a time to celebrate.

“I would say it’s certainly encouraging that Brockton’s in the ‘yellow’ again. It means that we’re moving in the right direction,” he said. “But I’d also say it doesn’t mean we’re going to be in the ‘yellow’ next week. We just squeaked by. Our cases have essentially plateaued in the mid-20s. I’m encouraged that it’s come down from the peaks that we saw in January, but it’s not the time to ease up.”

Herman said “it’s pretty clear that COVID is still out there” from the calls he has with the COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative, which is conducting most of the contact tracing in Brockton to determine where a positive person contracted the disease and who they were in contact with.

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“It’s everywhere. It’s in the households. It’s in the workplace,” Herman said. “Now is the time to remain vigilant as you await your time for the vaccine.”

This story will be updated.

Enterprise senior reporter Cody Shepard can be reached by email at cshepard@enterprisenews.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @cshepard_ENT. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Enterprise today.





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