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BY GAYLA CAWLEY| September 24, 2020

After more than six months into the pandemic, Lynn, Revere and Saugus are still seeing red, the state’s designation for communities with the highest COVID-19 risk.

The latest Department of Public Health (DPH) data, released on Wednesday, shows that 15 communities are shaded red in the state’s COVID-19 map.

Although Lynn, Revere, and Saugus have kept their high-risk designation for another week, Lynnfield has improved to yellow, denoting a moderate risk community.

On the same day that the new DPH data was released, Gov. Charlie Baker announced the state’s “Stop the Spread” initiative has extended free COVID-19 testing through the end of October.

Lynn, Revere and Saugus are three of the 18 high-priority communities across the state where the free testing is available as part of the initiative, which is a data-driven targeted effort that aims to reduce the prevalence of the coronavirus in cities and towns that are above the state average in total cases and positive test rates.

This week’s town-by-town data from the DPH shows that Lynn and Revere continue to be among the hardest hit areas in the state in terms of positive test rate. With a rate of 4.31 percent over the past 14 days, Revere is second in the state, while Lynn is third with a positive rate of 4.11 percent.

The new state leader is Lawrence, with a rate of 5.87 percent. Rounding out the top five is Chelsea, at 4.02 percent, and New Bedford, at 3.83 percent, according to the DPH.

In terms of daily incidence rate, the state leaders are: Nantucket, with an average rate of 26.5 new cases per day over the past 14 days, Chelsea (22.4 new cases per day), Lawrence (22.1), Revere (18.1) and Framingham (12.5)

Lynn has the seventh highest daily incidence rate over the past two weeks, with an average of 11.3 new cases per day, according to the DPH.

In Lynn, the double-digit surge in new cases continued on Thursday, with 18 new cases reported. The city now has 4,905 cases, 117 deaths and 4,220 people have recovered. A total of 568 cases are active, according to city data.

Revere reported a relatively low number of new cases compared to its average daily incidence rate. Nine new cases were reported to bring the city’s caseload to 2,660.

But Revere reported three additional deaths to bring the city’s death toll to 103, according to the city website.

Saugus, another red community, has now exceeded 700 cases, according to the latest DPH data. As of Wednesday, the town had 702 cases and 41 deaths. Its daily incidence rate, 8.5, and positive test rate of 2.1, both remained the same this week.

Lynnfield, which improved to yellow this week after its daily incidence rate dropped to 5.5, reported no change in its numbers on Thursday. The town has 135 cases and 14 people have died.

An additional death was reported in Marblehead on Wednesday, but numbers were not updated on Thursday. As of Wednesday, the town had 269 cases and 30 deaths, according to the DPH.

Swampscott reported three new cases to bring the town’s caseload to 168. Its death toll remained the same at 11.

Numbers remained the same in Nahant (52 cases, six deaths) and were not updated in Peabody, which had 1,279 cases and 183 deaths as of Wednesday.