MA Town-By-Town Coronavirus Stats: 40 High-Risk Communities

MASSACHUSETTS — Forty communities were designated high-risk in the new town-by-town data released by the state Wednesday, up from 23 the week before. Positive test rates rose in over half of the state’s 351 communities.

The positive test rate over the last two weeks increased in 176— or 50.1 percent — of the 351 communities in the state. The rate fell in 68 — or 19.4 percent — communities and held steady in the remaining 148.

State rules mean that high-risk communities, plus others that were high-risk in the last two updates, cannot move on to the next phase of reopening. Towns were marked high-risk, or red, if they reported more than eight confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks.

With Wednesday’s update, Dedham, Monson and Plainville cleared the required three weeks without being marked high-risk, and can move forward. A number of other communities were

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MA Town-By-Town Coronavirus Stats: 23 High-Risk Communities

MASSACHUSETTS — Twenty-three communities were designated high-risk in the new town-by-town data released by the state Wednesday, up from 15 the week before. New rules announced by the state Wednesday mean that those towns, plus others that were high-risk in the last two updates, cannot move on to the next phase of reopening.

The communities were marked high-risk, or red, due to more than eight confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks.

The latest step forward reopens indoor performance venues; expands capacity at outdoor performance venues, gyms, museums, driving and flight schools; reopens more indoor activities; and permits fitting rooms to open in all retail stores. It also allows for increased outdoor gatherings at events and in public settings.

With Wednesday’s update, the following 29 communities do not qualify to move forward: Attleboro, Avon, Boston, Chelsea, Dedham, Everett, Dracut, Framingham, Haverhill, Holliston, Lowell, Lawrence, Lynn, Lynnfield,

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FDA Advises Against Mercury Dental Fillings in High-Risk Groups

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised against the use of dental amalgam that contains mercury for certain groups of people who may be at high risk for potentially harmful health effects as a result of mercury being released from the fillings.

These groups are pregnant women and their developing fetuses; women who are planning to become pregnant; nursing women and their newborns and infants; children, especially those younger than 6 years of age; people with preexisting neurologic disease, such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, or Parkinson’s disease; people with impaired kidney function; and those who are known to have heightened sensitivity to mercury or other components of dental amalgam.

Dental amalgam releases small amounts of mercury vapor over time.

Although most evidence suggests that exposure to mercury from dental amalgam does not have negative health effects in the general population, “little to no information” is known about

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