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17 cities and towns in Massachusetts labeled high risk for coronavirus

The number of cities and towns labeled high risk for the coronavirus has more than doubled in the past two weeks, rising to 17 this week from 13 last week and eight the week before, according to state data.

View city and country statistics.

The 17 communities represent the highest number of cities and towns in the hot zone since the State Department of Public Health began reporting weekly data using a color-coded risk assessment system in August that shaded high-risk communities in red .

Chelsea, Dedham, Everett, Framingham, Lawrence, Lynn, Lynnfield, Monson, New Bedford, Revere and Winthrop remained on the high-risk list for another straight week, according to data released Wednesday.

Saugus returned to the list, joining Nantucket, Plainville, Tyngsborough, Worcester, and Wrentham, while Chatham and Methuen went down. Communities in the red zone reported a daily average of eight or more COVID-1

9 cases per 100,000 residents over the two-week period ending Saturday.

Nantucket officials wrote in a statement Friday that there had been a “September wave” including transmission of the virus to the community.

“We have regressed in our mission to crack down on the spread of COVID,” wrote Dawn Hill Holdgate, chairman of the board, advising residents on best practices for staying safe on the island. “The current surge is proof that even a little relaxation is dangerous.”

Dedham is continuing with state-sponsored coronavirus testing Thursday after an increase in cases was linked to groups of two recent youth gatherings.

“We are urging as many people as possible to take the test,” Dedham Town manager Leon Goodwin said in a statement.

The number of moderate-risk communities – those with 4-8 cases per 100,000 residents – was 36 this week. About 80 cities and towns have been listed as low-risk, with fewer than four cases.

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