AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the first time in 18 weeks, every county in the KXAN viewing area is rated at low risk from COVID-19 in the weekly update by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Each week since Feb. 24, the CDC has assigned a “COVID-19 Community Level” to every county nationwide based on how the virus is impacting local populations.

In the Thursday, Sept. 22 update, Fayette County was downgraded from high to low risk. All other local counties remain at low risk.

How are the Community Levels calculated?

Low, medium and high-risk categories are determined based on three factors: number of new cases in the past seven days, new hospital admissions in the past seven days and percent of staffed hospital beds being used by COVID-19 patients.

The first consideration is the number of new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days. If the number of new cases is higher than 200, the county cannot be considered low risk.

The thresholds for hospital admissions and inpatient bed usage then change depending on whether the county has fewer or more than 200 new cases per 100,000 residents.

Here’s a look at the numbers in each county in the KXAN viewing area. Remember, the number of new cases is considered first. If that number is more than 200, the county cannot be considered low risk.

The thresholds for hospital admissions and inpatient bed usage then change depending on whether the county has fewer or more than 200 new cases per 100,000 residents.

Meanwhile, about 3.6% of Texas’ population lives in a county rated high risk, down from 11% last week. San Angelo and McAllen are in counties that are rated high risk.

Approximately 13% of the state’s population lives in a medium-risk county — down from 30% last week — while about 83% live in a low-risk county, up from 59%.

The CDC has the following recommendations for people depending on which COVID-19 Community Level their county is in:

Low Risk

  • Stay up-to-date with COVID vaccines
  • Get tested if you have symptoms

Medium Risk

  • Same precautions as low risk and:
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you should wear a mask and take other precautions if you are at high risk for severe illness

High Risk

  • Same precautions as medium risk and:
  • Wear a mask indoors in public
  • Additional precautions may be needed for people at high risk for severe illness