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The Shoestring Covid Tracker

By Joe Pater

This page is updated every Friday by noon with current new case data for Hampshire, Hampden and Franklin counties and their towns and cities from the MassDPH.

[UPDATE 2/13/23: New cases are down this week statewide and locally. This is the first time the per capita rates for the three local counties and the state have all been beneath the CDC 2021 “High” bar since the end of November…]

County and State Data

This table shows new case totals for weeks of reporting ending on the dates shown in the column headings. The corresponding per capita weekly totals are calculated using 2019 US census populations, and are color coded according to the CDC 2021 transmission level metric with Red indicating a High level, Orange Substantial, Yellow Moderate and Blue Low. Follow this link for an explanation of the metric, and a comparison with the CDC 2022 community levels. Change is the current week divided by the previous one –change numbers greater than one indicate an increase, less than one a decrease.

(The New York Times has a useful presentation of daily updated county and state data. The Massachusetts counts here follow the NYT in using report rather than test date, and including confirmed and probable cases. The CDC also provides county and state data). 

Town and City Data

These tables provide totals of new Covid-19 cases for the weeks ending at the dates shown in the column headings. The color coding for the per capita rates and change calculation is as described above. Further details about the data and the tables are provided below. Some municipalities may have more up-to-date data; check their websites.

Hampshire County weekly new cases
Hampden County weekly new cases
Franklin County weekly new cases

These weekly totals are differences between totals from MassDPH public health reports from one week to the next (the reports came out two days after the dates shown above). Some inaccuracies in weekly totals calculated in this way may occur because of updates in earlier data. These weekly totals have the advantage over the two-week totals the MassDPH provides in being more fine-grained, and more recent (the two-week totals end several days earlier). Graphed historical weekly totals calculated this way, and daily per capita rates for every municipality in MA are available from Asterisks indicate instances where one week’s total was given as <5, so the difference could not be calculated. Weekly totals per 100K based on populations supplied in the downloadable MA-DPH Dashboard data. “Change” is the current week over the last one; values in red are increases (values greater than 1). Blank values in Change indicate that one week had 0 cases. The county totals and populations in these tables are the sums over the cities and towns.

The UMass numbers are from the UMass Amherst Covid-19 dashboard. The data are released each Wednesday, and cover the week ending the previous Saturday. Although this is 3 days earlier than the MA-DPH city/town data, they likely align better than that because it seems to take about 2 days for the UMass data to make it into the state counts. Because the MA-DPH reports only PCR tests, the “UMass PCR” number is more comparable to that data (“UMass Total” includes home antigen tests). The UMass per capita rates are calculated using a population of 38,651 (Fall 2022 student and faculty populations + 2021 staff population).

Joe Pater is Professor of Linguistics at UMass Amherst and a Northampton resident. His writing on local Covid-19 data can be found on his website.

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