Hi, I’m Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman, the health officer for Anne Arundel County. Welcome to our Weekly Health Update. The COVID vaccines, masks, at home testing, and treatment are how you can continue to protect you and your loved ones from COVID. Today, let’s talk about what it means that our COVID community level is now high.
What is the COVID community level?
As our response to COVID includes more tools, including oral treatment and boosters, we needed to go beyond case rates to describe the severity of COVID in our communities. That’s why the CDC switched from using transmission, which measures the case rate in a county, to the community level which includes the case rate and factors in COVID hospital admission and capacity. There are three community levels – low, medium and high – and each carries different recommendations.
Why are we now in the high community level?
At the end of last week, the CDC updated our community level to high because of our high case rate and the high rate of new COVID admissions to the hospitals in our region.
What should we do differently at a high community level?
During a high community level, the recommendation is that everyone wear a mask indoors in public areas and on public transportation. If you are at high risk for severe illness, consider taking additional precautions such as avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public.
What else should I do?
As always, stay up to date on your vaccines, get tested if you have symptoms, and seek treatment if you have COVID and are at risk for severe disease.
Stay safe and be kind to yourself and others. We’ll see you next week.