WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Starting Friday, Williamson County health officials will move the county to the “yellow phase” of its COVID-19 community spread stages for the first time since November.
Officials with the Williamson County and Cities Health District said the phases were updated May 17 to reflect changes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made for fully-vaccinated people.
Yellow indicates moderate community spread. Three criteria needed to be met to move to this phase include:
- The incidence rate has been below 7.0 for 14 consecutive days
- The positive test percentage has been below 10% for 14 consecutive days
- The COVID hospitalization rate for TSA Region O has been below 15% since Jan. 23
WCCHD made it clear the phase guidelines are not to dictate local rules or regulations for businesses, but rather they are suggestions for individuals based on the level of risk for exposure to COVID-19.
Those suggestions include wearing masks regardless of vaccination status while using public transportation options like planes, buses or trains and at airports and stations.
For those fully vaccinated, WCCHD guidelines state you can resume activities you did prior to the pandemic without wearing a mask or physically distancing.
Guidelines for those not vaccinated are more strict. Health officials suggest you limit the number of guests at a gathering, wear masks in public and keep six feet of distance.
Health officials, however, do ask people to follow rules set by any local businesses, venues or schools, regardless of vaccination status, and remind that masks are an effective tool for reducing the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses.
Williamson County’s COVID-19 dashboard will be updated once per week on Mondays starting June 1.