WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Williamson County is reporting a high rate of COVID-19 transmission after two weeks of sustained and rising community spread.

The criteria was reached on July 5 and continued for a week.

The incidence for today is 6.17 per 100,000 people — more than double in the past week.

The county is now at the Orange Phase level of transmission, which is the second-highest level. The highest level, red, indicates uncontrolled community spread. Orange Phase does not change local rules or regulations for businesses; they are guidelines for individual actions and behaviors based on levels of risk of exposure in the community.

The TSA Region O hospitalization has also increased daily in the past week, which is the second criteria for moving up a phase.

Hospitalizations remain low at 2.47%, but that has doubled in the past seven days. 

The ages with the most cases are those 18-30 followed by those 31-50. 

“Vaccination remains the single most proven effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19 and our best tool to end the pandemic,” said Allison Stewart, WCCHD Lead Epidemiologist. “With the increase in variant infections, and waning immunity from those previously infected, this is a critical time for our community to protect themselves and their families by getting vaccinated.”

Williamson County residents are advised continue following any additional requirements of local businesses, venues, and schools. The county is reminding locals that wearing a mask, even when fully vaccinated, is an effective tool to reduce spread of many respiratory illnesses. 

The COVID-19 Phased Gating Stages mitigation recommendations were updated on May 17 to reflect the changes to the CDC Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.

For more information on COVID-19 please visit www.wcchd.org/COVID-19.