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BY GAYLA CAWLEY| September 17, 2020

After weeks of being designated a moderate risk community for the coronavirus, Saugus is now in the red again.

Saugus joins four other North Shore towns — Lynn, Lynnfield, Revere and Winthrop — that are shaded red on the state’s COVID-19 map, the designation for high-risk communities that are offered additional support for curbing the spread of the virus.

New data released by the state Department of Public Health shows that Saugus has moved from a yellow to red zone, with an average daily incidence rate that has increased to nine new cases per 100,000 residents over the past 14 days.

Saugus has had 42 positive tests out of 1,894 tests that were conducted over that same 14-day time period for a positive test rate of 2.22 percent.

The town has 698 cases and 41 residents have died.

After falling out of the top five in terms of communities with the highest positive test rate last week, Lynn now has the fourth highest rate. The city’s 4.55 percent rate is only exceeded by Lawrence (5.32), Chelsea (4.72), and Everett (4.56). Revere is not too far behind, with a rate of 4.54 percent, fifth highest in the state.
Those hot spots far exceed the state’s average positive test rate of 0.9 percent over that same time period.

In terms of communities with the highest daily incidence rate, Lynn is sixth with an average of 12.7 new cases per day over the past 14 days. The top five communities are Chelsea (22.9), Nantucket (18.9), Revere (18.8), Lawrence (16.9) and Everett (16.3).

By comparison, the state’s daily average over the past 14 days is 4.6 new cases per 100,000 residents, according to the DPH.

Other red communities on the North Shore, Lynnfield and Winthrop, have an average positive test rate of 1.65 and 1.21 percent respectively. The two have a respective daily incidence rate of 10.4 and 8.7 cases, according to the DPH.

In Lynn, eight new cases were reported on Thursday to bring the city’s caseload to 4,794. Of that total, 559 cases are active, 117 residents have died and 4,118 have recovered from the virus, according to city data.

Revere reported nine new cases, but no additional deaths. The city now has 2,596 cases and 100 residents have died, according to the city website.

Numbers remained the same in Lynnfield (131 cases, 11 deaths), Nahant (52 cases, six deaths), and Swampscott (165 cases, 11 deaths) and were not updated in Marblehead or Peabody.

As of Wednesday, Marblehead had 266 cases and 30 deaths, and Peabody had 1,262 cases and 182 deaths.