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Newton now yellow on state Covid-19 map; mayor says BC students not the only reason

Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller reported tonight that the state has changed Newton's Covid-19 risk level from "low" to "moderate" because the city's average number of new daily cases has increased to 4.1 from 1.9 last week - which she said is not due just to the the Boston College outbreak but also because:

Newton’s Health and Human Services staff have noticed, in particular, that residents who traveled with or socialized with people not in their household group account for some of Newton’s recent new community cases.

In an e-mail to residents, Fuller said that of Newton's 53 new cases between Aug. 30 and Sept. 12, said 45%, or 24, were among BC students living in Newton and that the rest were among local residents traveling or socializing with people outside their immediate households.

Fuller said that the percentage of Newton residents testing positive on tests rose to 0.46 between Aug. 30 and Sept. 12 - still close to just half the statewide average - from 0.16% in the two weeks before that.

Fuller continued that the change in the city's status does not affect its current plans for a "hybrid" school year, although schools could be forced to go all remote should the daily-case numbers increase to 8.

She noted that in other communities, including nearby Dedham, outbreaks have resulted from high-school students holding large parties.

We implore people of all ages to avoid behaviors which could jeopardize Newton’s ability to bring students into in-person classrooms as well as to protect our entire community from experiencing a second wave of significant viral transmission.

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Comments

Are the non-BC-student Covid patients, or people who were in contact with them, forbidden from quarantining in Newton? If it's too dangerous to Newton residents if BC students quarantine in the Garden City, the same applies to someone not studying at BC. The virus doesn't care.

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I understand the Mayor is focused on public school and the metric, but her comment about not welcoming the afflicted into her community less it harm others is a bad look, to put it mildly.

That written, there's no reason why the state regulations and protocols around green, yellow, and red need to count quarantining college students the same as anyone else, just as they don't need to count other specific groups with different housing and community spread factors.

Rather than game the metrics by influencing where sick people recover, maybe game the metrics by arguing for better metrics.

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