New Covid Map


Lily Gilmore, Ads and social media

In late October, the state of Massachusetts altered its system of Coronavirus town case mapping to account for smaller towns. This displayed many more towns as being out of the red. This benefits the lives of many people, especially students, due to their currently remote education. Since many towns are coming out of the red on account of this change, schools can continue to attend hybrid or in person classes.

    The last few months before this change, the state of Massachusetts was counting cases so that smaller populated towns were always in the red. Towns with more than 8 cases per 100,000 people ended up being “high risk” after each weekly report. This caused many schools to become fully remote and not allow sports to continue.

    With the new strategy for keeping track of cases in the state, towns with population sizes under 10,000 must have more than 25 cases to be eligible for the red category. This change helps many of the small towns struggling in the “red” that only had a few cases. Mid-sized towns between 10,000 and 50,000 people must have greater than or equal to 10 cases per 100,000 people (those 10 having positive test results) to remain in red; all large towns and cities with over 50,000 people must have greater than 10 cases per 100,000 people and a positive test rate greater than 4%. These changes were made to, “better illustrate the cumulative effect of the pandemic,” according to Marylou Sudders, the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The week before this change there were 121 towns in the red category, while after the change, there were only 16.

This change will benefit businesses, schools, sports, and the towns who struggled to operate while being in the red category. Those towns will remain steady as long as the number of cases in them stays low.