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State again floods high-risk cities and towns with coronavirus alert messages

Take coronavirus precautions -- that's the message people in high-risk communities will be getting from their cellphones later today.
Take coronavirus precautions -- that's the message people in high-risk communities will be getting from their cellphones later today.ra2 studio - Fotolia

State officials on Monday evening again sent out coronavirus alerts to the cellphones of people in high-risk communities, a week following the first round of alerts.

The communities which received the alert include Acushnet, Attleboro, Boston, Brockton, Chelmsford, Gloucester, Holyoke, Hudson, Kingston, Leicester, Lowell, Malden, Marlborough, Methuen, Middleton, North Andover, Plymouth, Randolph, Springfield, Waltham, Webster, and Woburn, the state’s COVID-19 Command Center said in a statement.

An alert was also sent out in Lawrence, where residents were encouraged to take advantage of free testing in the city.

More than 1.73 million people live in the communities receiving the messages.

The state last week sent out alerts to cellphones of people in a different set of high-risk communities.
The state last week sent out alerts to cellphones of people in a different set of high-risk communities.Marcela García

Another alert was sent out Oct. 19 to a different group of high-risk municipalities. Phones nearby affected communities may also ping with the alert, in both English and Spanish, due to cellphone tower locations, the officials said.

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“COVID is persistently high risk in these communities, and this alert is another important message to remind residents to remain vigilant - wear masks, get tested/stay home if they feel sick, stop having gatherings and practice social distancing,” the statement read.

Those who get the “MAGovt Alert” received this message: “COVID19 is a serious threat in [city/town name]. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Do not share food drinks utensils. Stay home if sick. Get a free COVID test. Stop gatherings with family and friends. Protect you and your loved ones. For more info visit mass.gov/stopcovid19,” flash on their screens.

This alert, known as a Wireless Emergency Alert, is typically used in cases of severe weather or Amber Alerts.

These COVID-19 alerts are just one part of a broader campaign to “remind residents that the pandemic is not over, and these best practices will help protect their family, friends and neighbors,” state officials said.


Breanne Kovatch can be reached at breanne.kovatch@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @breannekovatch.