WINCHESTER - As the town (and state) continue to crush COVID (and the more transmissible Delta variant), only 14 residents as of this week are confirmed to have the virus. In total, 1,535 residents contracted COVID and 1,501 recovered. 20 people died.

Winchester has a positive test percentage of .80 percent making the town one of the lowest in Middlesex County. Other communities like Burlington (1.75 percent) or Woburn (2.46 percent) are two and three times higher. Only Lexington (.48 percent) remains significantly lower than Winchester.

After reaching a summer high of almost 2.5 percent, the town began its downward trend in late-August. However, back in late-May and early-June the town reached a nearly zero percent positivity rate before the Delta variant caused a summer spike. Therefore, residents shouldn't get too relaxed as they watch the numbers tick down.

In fact, the town re-instituted an indoor mask mandate to help curb the spread. Although not entirely popular, the mandate worked as the percentage of positive residents declined in the beginning of September and continues to fall.

In August, 95 residents contracted the virus, but only 69 did in September. With two-and-a-half weeks left in October, it seems the downward trend will continue. Most of this is due to mask wearing and vaccinations.

As of Aug. 31, 89 percent of all eligible residents were vaccinated. This means, a month-and-a-half later, it seems likely more than 90 percent of eligible residents are vaccinated. Oddly, the least vaccinated group in town are those over the age of 75 (though 85 percent are still vaccinated). Meanwhile, more than 95 percent of teens age 16-19 received their COVID shot.

Statewide, nearly 770,000 residents tested positive for COVID since the pandemic began with 1,583 testing positive yesterday. The state tested more than 29 million people already. In total, 18,358 people died due to COVID.

Compared to the rest of the country, Massachusetts suffered the 12th most deaths. However, in the very beginning, the state was one of the hardest hit in the country due to travelers from Europe coming to Logan Airport. Therefore, the state is regarded as one of the safest for COVID nowadays.

In the last two weeks, the most infected people statewide are those between the ages of 20-40 (most likely the least likely to get vaccinated due to thinking they're "young and healthy"). Overall, more than 4.6 million Massachusetts residents are vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Compared to the rest of the country, Massachusetts ranks number five in terms of vaccination percentage with 68 percent of residents fully vaccinated. The only states above Massachusetts are Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine.

Some states, like Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama (all red states) haven't even reached the 50 percent mark. And West Virginia, another red state, barely hit 40 percent. In fact, in the entire top 20 for vaccinated states, every one is either a solidly Democrat state or one that leans Democrat (like New Hampshire). And every state at the bottom is deep red.

Basically, if your state supported Donald Trump for president, it has a low vaccine rate. If it supported Joe Biden, it has a high one (Georgia is the lone exception by supporting Biden but also being in the bottom 10 for vaccination rate).

If it wasn't clear from the beginning, the virus (and now vaccine) have divided the country between those who believe it's real and dangerous (typically Democrats) and those who believe it's a hoax (typically Republicans). The virus, meanwhile, doesn't care about political parties on the way to killing 700,000 Americans.

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