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 Please share this resource with your colleagues and networks. Visit CDC Emergency Preparedness & Response for more information.  

CDC recently launched COVID-19 Community Levels, a new tool for helping people and communities decide on prevention steps based on the latest data.

Some people, such as our oldest citizens, people with weakened immune systems, and people with disabilities, are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 and may need to take extra steps to protect themselves. Knowing COVID-19 Community Levels can help everyone make choices to protect themselves and others.

COVID-19 Community Levels Tool

What's a COVID-19 Community Level?

Itís easy to check your countyís COVID-19 level on CDCís website and find out which COVID-19 prevention measures to use for individuals and communities.

There are three levels (Low, Medium, High), which are determined by looking at new hospital admissions for people with COVID-19; hospital beds being used by patients with COVID-19; and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in your community.

No matter what your COVID-19 Community Level, layered prevention strategies can help protect you and those around you, including someone at increased risk for severe COVID-19.

Recommendations based on COVID-19 Community Levels may not apply to healthcare settings such as hospitals or long-term care facilities.

Prevention Strategies for Those at Increased Risk for Severe COVID-19

What to do if you're at high risk for severe COVID-19

Checking COVID-19 Community Levels can help you decide what steps to take to protect yourself and others. If you are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, make sure youíre up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines. In areas with medium or high COVID-19 Community Levels, wear a well-fitting mask indoors. If someone you visit with is at increased risk, take a rapid test right before you go. If the visit is indoors, make sure ventilation is good.

If you are at increased risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, treatments may be available. Get tested as soon as possible after symptoms start. Contact your healthcare provider right away if your result is positive. Treatment must be started early to work.

If your area is identified as a Low, Medium, or High COVID-19 Community Level, CDCís recommendations can help you decide what prevention strategies you can use, based on the level in your area and your own risk of severe illness.

Recommendations for people in Low Community Level:

  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Get tested if you have symptoms.
  • Follow CDC recommendations for isolation and quarantine.
  • If you have a weakened immune system or high risk for severe illness, have a plan for testing if you need it, and talk to your healthcare provider about treatment options that are right for you.
Recommendations for people in Medium Community Level:
Follow recommendations for people in low levels, plus:
  • If you are at high risk for severe illness, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions (such as testing).
  • If you live with someone at high risk or if you will visit someone at high risk, consider self-testing before contact, and consider wearing a mask when indoors with them.
Recommendations for people in High Community Level:
Follow recommendations for people in low and medium levels, plus:
  • Wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public.
  • If you have a weakened immune system or are at high risk for severe illness, wear a mask or respirator that provides more protection, and consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public.
See the full list of recommendations by COVID-19 Community Level.

At all levels, people can wear a mask based on personal preference, informed by their personal level of risk. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.

Additional Resources

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Email: EPIC@cdc.gov

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30329 

Contact CDC-INFO
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: 888-232-6348