AUSTIN (KXAN) — Caldwell County’s COVID-19 risk level has been upgraded to medium by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, due to an increase in cases.

Each week, the CDC assigns a “COVID-19 Community Level” to each county nationwide based on how the virus is impacting local populations.

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.

It’s the first time since March 17 that any county in the KXAN viewing area has been above low risk. All other counties currently remain in the low category.

Caldwell County has had a low-risk level since Feb. 24, when it was in the high-risk category.

While Caldwell County remains in the low range for hospital admissions and bed usage, it has hit the threshold of new cases to automatically be moved to medium risk. As of May 26, the county has added 224.44 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days. The threshold for medium risk is 200 cases per 100,000 residents.

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

Data from the Texas Department of State Health Services shows as of Friday, Caldwell County has reported 14,511 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. A total of 176 county residents have died from the virus.