CDC releases new framework for measuring community COVID-19 levels

As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have fallen over the past several weeks in the area, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced a new Community Level Framework.

The new way of measuring the level of COVID-19 infection in a community ranks counties as Low, Medium or High.

The ranks are determined based on new COVID-19 admissions to the hospital per 100,000 population in the past 7 days, the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients and total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the last 7 days.

In “Low” areas, where there is limited impact on the healthcare system and low levels of severe disease, the CDC advises people to get vaccinated and boosted as well as to get tested if sick.

In “Medium” areas, with some impact on the healthcare system and more people with severe disease, in addition to getting tested and vaccinated, the CDC recommends talking to a healthcare provider about wearing a mask if you are at a potential increased risk.

In “High” areas, with high potential for healthcare system strain and high levels of severe disease, along with testing and vaccination the CDC recommends wearing a mask in public indoor settings, including schools.

In all areas, the CDC said people with symptoms, a positive test or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask, but that people may choose to mask at any time.

Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County said it supports the new framework.

In a statement, Montgomery County Health Commissioner Jennifer Wentzel said, “As we move through the various phases of this pandemic it is important for us to make adjustments to the precautions that we take.”

Most of the area is listed as Medium, including Butler, Darke, Greene, Montgomery, Preble and Warren counties.

Miami County is the only county in our area listed as Low, while Clark and Champaign counties with both designated High.

More information on the new system and a map of the different county levels is available on the CDC website.

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