Texas

Travis and Williamson counties transition to medium COVID risk; Seven other local counties are now at high risk

Austin (KXAN) — Seven counties in the KXAN viewing area are currently assessed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as being at high risk of contracting COVID-19, while Travis and Williamson have transitioned from low to moderate risk.

Every week starting February 24, 2022, the CDC assigns a “COVID-19 community level” to each county across the country based on how the virus is affecting the local population.

In an update on Thursday, January 5, Lampasas and Milam counties were upgraded from low risk to high risk, joining Blanco, Caldwell, Gillespie, Hayes and Mason in this risk category.

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

Only Fayette and San Saba counties are in the low risk group, the latter being moved out of the medium risk category in a new update.

How are community levels calculated?

The low, medium, and high risk categories are determined based on three factors: the number of new cases in the last seven days, new hospitalizations in the last seven days, and the percentage of full hospital beds used by COVID-19 patients.

The first consideration is the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days. If the number of new cases exceeds 200, the county cannot be considered low risk.

The thresholds for hospitalization and inpatient bed usage then change depending on whether the county has less 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: first of all, the number of new cases is counted. If this number exceeds 200, the county cannot be considered a low-risk region.

The thresholds for hospitalization and inpatient bed usage then change depending on whether the county has less or more than 200 new cases per 100,000 residents.

Meanwhile, about 16% of the Texas population lives in a high-risk county, up from 4.5% last week.

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

The update means San Antonio is now the only major city in Texas with a low risk of contracting COVID-19.

The CDC has the following guidance for people based on what level of the COVID-19 community their county is in:

low risk

  • Stay up to date on COVID vaccines
  • Get tested if you have symptoms

Medium risk

  • Same precautions as for low risk:
  • 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 for medium risk, and:
  • Wear a mask indoors in public places
  • Additional precautions may be required for people at high risk of severe illness

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