Cambridge Recategorized as Moderate Risk “Yellow” Community; Commonwealth Adjusts Indicators in Weekly Data Reports

There have been two COVID-related updates from new state and federal reports:

Cambridge Recategorized as a Moderate Risk “Yellow” Community

Cambridge has been recategorized as a “yellow” risk community based on new data published by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) today. A Yellow designation is given to communities where the average daily case rate over the last 14 days is 4-8 cases per 100,000 populationCambridge is currently at 4.1 cases per 100,000 residents according to the October 22 data release by the Commonwealth.

Cambridge’s overall test positivity rate remains low (0.15%) compared to surrounding areas, but the city continues to closely monitor the situation to respond to any specific, high-risk settings. 

In this same data report, MDPH updated one of its indicators to include an asterisk for cities and towns when more than 30% of new cases within the last 14 days are from specific, high-risk setting, such as higher education institution or long-term care facility. Cambridge, home to many universities and group homes, will include an asterisk in this report.

CDC Redefines Definition of Close Contact

On Wednesday, October 21, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance on who should be considered a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. Previously, a close contact was defined by CDC as an individual who spent at least 15 consecutive minutes less than six feet from a positive case. The new definition by CDC is someone who spent at least 15 cumulative minutes less than six feet from a positive case over a 24-hour period. The Cambridge Public Health Department follows the protocols of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for case investigations and contact tracing, and MDPH has been using cumulative exposure prior to this clarification from CDCAs a resultthere are no changes to these protocols at this timeThe health department monitors guidance from the state and will update its processes as directed.

The Cambridge Public Health Department continues to urge Cambridge residents to practice appropriate physical distancing, avoid gathering with people outside of your household (especially if indoors), wear a face mask at all times when in public, and practice rigorous hand hygiene.

For more information and updates on COVID-19, please visit the City’s dedicated information page: https://www.cambridgema.gov/covid19

Page was posted on 10/22/2020 4:14 PM
Page was last modified on 10/22/2020 4:18 PM
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