AUSTIN (KXAN) — Seven counties in the KXAN viewing area are now rated at high risk from COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while Travis and Williamson have moved from low to medium risk.

Each week since Feb. 24, 2022, 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, Jan. 5 update, Lampasas and Milam counties were moved from low to high risk, joining Blanco, Caldwell, Gillespie, Hays and Mason in that risk category.

Bastrop, Burnet, Lee, Travis and Williamson counties moved from low to medium risk, joining Llano County.

Only Fayette and San Saba counties are at low risk, the latter having been moved from medium risk in the new update.

How are the Community Levels calculated?

Low, medium and high-risk categories are determined based on three factors: the number of new cases in the past seven days, new hospital admissions in the past seven days and the 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 16% of Texas’ population lives in a county rated high risk, up from 4.5% last week.

Approximately 67% of the state’s population lives in a medium-risk county — up from 48% last week — while about 17% live in a low-risk county, down from 48%.

The update means San Antonio is now the only major city in Texas rated at low risk from COVID-19.

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