AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two local counties have been upgraded to high risk for COVID-19 in the latest weekly update by the CDC.
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. 1 update, Lampasas and Milam Counties were upgraded to high risk. Lee and Llano Counties were upgraded from low to medium risk.
Meanwhile, Blanco, Gillespie, Mason and San Saba dropped from medium to low, while Fayette County was downgraded from high to medium.
Travis and Williamson Counties both remain at low risk, while Hays County is 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 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 25% of Texas’ population lives in a county rated high risk. San Antonio and Fort Worth are in counties that remain in high risk.
Approximately 51% of the state’s population lives in a medium-risk county, while about 17% 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