The Recorder – COVID-19 transmission risk remains ‘moderate’ for fifth week

Published: 11/28/2022 3:41:33 PM

Modified: 11/28/2022 3:39:09 PM

Editor’s note: The Greenfield Recorder has been providing regular updates on the risk level of COVID-19 transmission as wastewater testing results are received.

Despite an elevated percent positivity, the COVID-19 risk remains “moderate” in the four communities involved in the Contact Tracing Collaborative, which consists of Greenfield, Deerfield, Montague and Sunderland.

Percent positivity was about 6.9% last week, compared to between 2% and 5% across the four communities the prior week, according to Greenfield Health Director Jennifer Hoffman. Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 remain stable, with four on average each day last week. The volume of virus in wastewater also remains stable.

As a result, the municipalities remain in the yellow zone with a “moderate” risk of COVID-19 transmission for the fifth week in a row. Masking is encouraged.

In combination with wastewater testing — people with an active COVID-19 infection excrete the virus in their stool, and samples from wastewater treatment plants can be analyzed to estimate community virus levels — the four municipalities factor in hospitalization numbers, positivity rates and case numbers to determine risk levels. Health officials also continue to talk with nursing homes, businesses and schools to track cluster infections.

The following three zones, defined by the Contact Tracing Collaborative, are used to gauge risk levels of COVID-19 transmission in the four communities. For the risk level in the area to change, at least two measures need to apply.

Red zone: High COVID-19 risk

Masking recommended.

■Cluster infections (of three or more people at one site): five or more.

■Percent positive tests out of total tests performed: greater than 10%.

■Hospitalizations: five or more.

■Increase in case trend.

■Increase in wastewater trend.

Yellow zone: Moderate COVID-19 risk

Masking encouraged.

■One to four cluster infections.

■Stable positive testing.

■Fewer than five hospitalizations.

■Stable case incidence.

■Stable wastewater.

Green zone: Low to minimal COVID-19 risk

Masking optional.

■No cluster infections.

■Decrease in positive tests.

■Decrease in hospitalizations.

■Decrease in case incidence.

■Decreased virus copies in wastewater.

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