Number of Mass. communities considered high-risk for COVID rises to 55


NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — As the number of people getting vaccinated against COVID-19 continues to rise, there’s also been an uptick in positive cases.

More cities and towns in Massachusetts have been added to the state’s list of “high-risk” communities since last week.

There are currently 55 communities considered high-risk for spreading the virus, including New Bedford, Fall River, Freetown, Lakeville, Seekonk, North Attleboro, and Raynham.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced he will make $4.7 million directly available to 20 high-risk communities to increase vaccine availability and awareness.

Starting next week, pop-up clinics will pick up approximately 500 doses at the Hynes Convention Center each day and set up in five major cities, including Fall River and New Bedford.

Baker said Johnson & Johnson will speed up vaccination efforts across the Commonwealth.

“If you think about all the people who you can serve with one dose and not have to schedule a second dose and take up a second seat at some point later on, it basically doubles the capacity and the speed at which someone becomes fully vaccinated,” he said. “One dose plus two weeks is a lot different than two doses plus six weeks.”

Massachusetts is expecting a shipment of more than 100,000 Johnson & Johnson vials next week.

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