AUSTIN (KXAN) — Five more counties in the KXAN viewing area have been upgraded to “medium” risk for COVID-19.
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.
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.
Blanco, Lampasas, Milam, Travis and Williamson Counties were all upgraded to medium risk. Caldwell and Hays Counties remain at medium risk, while Fayette County remains at high risk.
Blanco, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson Counties have all surpassed the threshold for medium risk based on number of new cases reported. The CDC threshold is more than 200 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days.
Fayette, Lampasas and Milam Counties have not hit the threshold for new cases, but are considered at elevated risk because of the number of COVID hospitalizations in those counties.
Lampasas and Milam Counties both have hospital admission rates — the number of people admitted to the hospital with COVID per 100,000 residents — of 13.6. The threshold to be considered medium risk is 10 hospital admissions per 100,000.
Fayette County’s rate is 36.3 admissions per 100,000, well above the 20 per 100,000 threshold to be considered in the high category.
Meanwhile, several other counties across Texas have been upgraded to medium or high risk. Corpus Christi, El Paso, San Angelo and much of the Lower Rio Grande Valley are now considered high risk.
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 vaccinesGet 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 publicAdditional precautions may be needed for people at high risk for severe illness