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Positive COVID-19 test rates are going up, slowly, in Chicopee and Wilbraham, while West Springfield’s positive test rate continues to decline and Russell’s wildly high rate is starting to flatten out, according to the most recent information from the Baker Administration.

Meanwhile, in Springfield, the 14-day COVID-19 positive test rate went up a little from last week to 2.

9 percent, but it’s still below a high of 3.4 percent in the city earlier this month.

In Massachusetts, the goal is that by December the state will have less than 5 percent of COVID-19 tests come back positive. On Aug. 1, Gov. Charlie Baker reported the state’s 7-day positive test rate was at 2.1 percent, up from a low of 1.7 percent earlier this month. (Massachusetts does not provide 7-day positive test rates for municipalities, only 14-day rates.)

Every Hampden County community met that 5 percent goal in the most recent reporting period released by the governor’s office on Friday, July 31 - except for Russell. The rural town has a 6.3 percent 14-day COVID-19 positive test rate. This isn’t so wild, however, in small communities, just a few people getting sick can skew data to make things sound worse than they are. For example, Russell has a high positive test rate, but only 16 people in the town have contracted COVID-19 since Jan. 1.

In Chicopee the positive test rate went up from 2.9 percent on July 22, to 3.3 on July 29, the most recent information available. Wilbraham went up from 0.8 on July 22 to 1.5 on July 29.

West Springfield’s positive test rate has decreased over the last three reporting periods starting at 3.4 on July 17 and dropping to 2.9 on July 29.

Since Jan. 1 Massachusetts has had a total of 110,077 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and administered 1.55 million tests. The total number of COVID-19 deaths in the state is 8,406 people.

Here is a breakdown of local COVID-19 data: presenting the total number of infections recorded per community since the beginning of the pandemic and the 14-day positive test rate, percent in parenthesis ( ), for the cities and towns in your community:


Agawam 493 (2.4)


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100th Wildlife Management Area Established in Vermont

SHREWSBURY, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has established its 100th Wildlife Management Area.

The 526-acre property in Shrewsbury is “a key parcel in a strategic, state-significant wildlife corridor, connecting state land to the north with federal and privately conserved land to the south,” said commissioner Louis Porter.

The area is used by black bear, bobcat, moose and deer, as well as upland bird species and migratory songbirds, according to the department's public land section chief Jane Lazorchak. It contains small wetlands, vernal pools, early successional forest, and mast-producing trees, she said.

“In addition to protecting valuable habitat and forest connectivity, this property safeguards public-use for hunting, hiking, wildlife viewing and other dispersed wildlife-based recreation,” she said.

The site was originally settled in the late 1700s and bought by the town in 1870 to create a town farm to house the poor, officials said. The town farm was abandoned by 1903 and the land exchanged hands several times but has remained undeveloped, the department said.

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