As of May 6, cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in the Chip – pewa Falls area and surrounding communities. According to the CDC’s Community Risk Level metrics, several counties in the Western Region have moved to a Medium Risk Level. This in cludes four of the six counties that share a border with Chippewa County. At this time, Chippewa County does remain in a Low Risk Level.
In February, the CDC updated the way it monitors COVID-19 and its impact on communities. Instead of focusing primarily on case counts to assess risk level, additional predictors of severe outcomes due to COVID-19 are also considered, including hospitalizations (and percent of beds utilized by COVID-19 patients).
What are Community Levels?
The CDC looks at the following three metrics to figure out COVID-19 community levels:
• New COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population in the past 7 days (regional) The 7-day average percent of staued inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients (regional)
• Total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days What Do These Levels Mean for Individuals?
People make decisions about their individual behaviors every day. The CDC’s Community Levels system is one of many tools available to help make those decisions a little clearer.
Staying up to date on vaccines is the best thing individuals can do, no matter the community level. Other considerations for the medium risk level include:
• If you are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, talk to your health care provider about whether you should wear a mask in public.
• If you live with someone at high risk, or come in contact with people who are high risk, consider wearing a mask while indoors with them or using a home test before coming in contact with them.
• If you have symptoms or were exposed, be sure to get tested and stay home while you’re sick/waiting for results.
Visit the Chippewa County Coronavirus Response Hub for more information on testing locations, vaccine appointments, vaccination locations, and guidance on what to do if you are sick or exposed to someone with COVID-19. The Chippewa County Department of Public Health continues striving to support the community in staying healthy.
For more in-depth information on what it means to go from a low to a medium level, check out this blog post from the City of Madison – Public Health Madison & Dane County.