BOSTON (WPRI) — Massachusetts officials have identified which cities are most at risk for coronavirus in a colored map chart that Gov. Charlie Baker released on Tuesday.
Baker said no matter where a city falls on the risk chart, COVID-19 is not going away, but he hopes this new information will help control the spread.
“Your actions no matter where you live or where you work will determine, in many respects, whether and how this virus spreads,” he said.
Four cities are shown to be at a high risk for the virus on the map and will receive additional support from the state to address the spread of COVID-19, according to Baker.
There are 29 cities currently considered to be at a moderate risk, including Taunton and Fall River. Mayors in both these cities say they are headed in the right direction, but the moderate ranking leaves room for improvement.
“People being smart,” Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan said. “Fall River’s buckled down right from the beginning of this COVID thing. They’ve really kept on, we’ve had minimal problems.”
A moderate risk city has between four and eight COVID-19 cases per one hundred thousand people.
According to Mayor Coogan, Fall River is still in a place to send students back to school.
“Last night, the school committee voted seven-to-nothing to go to a hybrid model. It will be like a week on, a week off,” Coogan said. “We’re going to try to get our kids back to school.”
New Bedford is highlighted in green on the map, which means they have less than four cases per one hundred thousand people. Mayor Jon Mitchell says a number of efforts have helped prevent the spread of coronavirus in the city.
“First city in the country to offer a free mask to every resident in the city,” Mayor Mitchell said. “We came up with a set of workplace safety protocols that have slowed the spread of the virus.”
New restrictions also went into effect on Tuesday for large gatherings in the state, and hosts found in violation will possibly face hefty fines.
Baker said increased enforcement will be happening at businesses as well, to make sure they are following COVID-19 orders, with those in violation receiving fines and cease and desist orders.