AUSTIN (KXAN) — Four counties in the KXAN viewing area were upgraded to “high” risk for COVID-19, according to the CDC’s weekly update.
Each week since Feb. 24, the CDC assigns a “COVID-19 Community Level” to each county nationwide based on how the virus is impacting local populations.
Caldwell, Gillespie, Hays and Mason counties were all upgraded to high risk, while Blanco and Milam remain at high risk.
Lampasas County was considered high risk last week but has been downgraded to medium risk. Meanwhile, Fayette County was upgraded from low to medium risk. Travis and Williamson counties both remain at medium 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 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, 74% of Texas’ population lives in a county rated high risk, including Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, El Paso, Corpus Christi and Brownsville.
Approximately 21% of the state’s population lives in a medium-risk county, while about 5% live in a low-risk county.
The CDC has the following recommendations for people depending on which COVID-19 Community Level their county is in:
- Stay up-to-date with COVID vaccines
- Get tested if you have symptoms
- 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
- 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