By Bill Shields

RANDOLPH (CBS) — The state has now released town-by-town numbers of COVID-19 cases. As expected, there are hot spots such as Brockton and Chelsea. But towns like Randolph, with about 33,00 people, were not expected.

Randolph has an infection rate of 1.1%, almost twice the rate of Boston.

Town Manager Brian Howard said the number of cases, 367, is out of context for several reasons.

“It doesn’t reflect the communities that have long-term nursing care facilities,” he said. “Twenty percent of our numbers are specific to that.”

Howard also points to the high number of essential workers living there.

“These neighborhoods have high numbers of COVID patients because they have to go to work and they work in jobs where they interact with people,” said Dr. Helen Boucher, the chief of infectious disease at Tufts Medical Center.

Boucher said population density is also a likely factor.

“It’s being close together,” she said. “…People who maybe can’t stay home, who need to get out everyday to do their job.”

On a state level, Boucher said, we are handling the surge in cases fairly well and that the system is not overwhelmed.

Bill Shields