Two Minute Tuesday – August 2, 2022

COVID-19 community level, testing, and treatment

What is the COVID-19 community level by county? When the U.S. first began to emerge from the worst of the COVID pandemic, the CDC rolled out an all-new system used to classify each county in the country by COVID-19 risk factor. 

Along with this system, the governing body’s site also became home to this tool, allowing any person to check back in weekly for an updated community-level indicator.

The premise is an elegant one—residents can modify their preventative behavior and any plans for the coming weeks and months, using their community levels to employ the appropriate strategies against exposure and infection. 

How is the COVID community level determined?

There are three main factors that place your community lower or higher on this simple scale:

  • The number of new COVID-19 hospital admissions per capita over the last seven days
  • The total number of new COVID-19 cases reported per capita over the last seven days
  • The proportion of staffed, inpatient beds currently occupied by COVID-19 patients, when compared to the rest of the hospital beds taken by others

These three metrics provide a good indication of a community’s COVID risk profile, as well as its ability to handle an influx in cases.

Every community in this frequently-updated registry is labeled either a low, a medium, or a high within the system—green, yellow, and red, respectively. What difference between COVID community levels should the residents living in them be aware of?

COVID-19 community-level: low

To earn a green-coded “low” community level, a community must meet these baseline standards.

Mostly, the CDC guidelines for those living in low-risk communities revolve around the immunocompromised—experts suggest keeping extra rapid antigen tests handy and keeping a line of dialogue with one’s healthcare provider open for possible COVID treatment, preventative care, and other timely solutions.

Vaccination is, of course, encouraged. Many communities in this category already do what they can to distribute accessible vaccines widely, which may be a precursor to a better community level by keeping new case reports down.

COVID-19 community-level: medium

Areas that have earned “medium” COVID community levels boast the following.

The same guidance for low-level communities applies equally here. Good ventilation indoors is also one common suggestion, along with the usual precautions like masking indoors and staying home whenever possible.


COVID-19 community level: high

Finally, the most at-risk communities in the country are labeled with the CDC’s “high” COVID-19 community level. Each of these regions meets the following criteria.

 Towns and cities with the highest possible COVID community level are where experts urge residents to seek a full vaccination series most urgently; the practice is understood to be the best way to prevent a new COVID infection in the broadest possible sense, but that’s not all that those living in high-risk areas can do to keep themselves and those around them safe.

What does the COVID-19 community level mean for the average person?

Mostly, this handy tool provides an easy-to-digest, up-to-date report that anybody in the country can access conveniently. Along with your local COVID community level, you can use other tools like the CDC data tracker to know exactly what’s happening locally, quickly, easily, and all from the comfort of your home.

When in doubt, you can always rely on our team. We’re authorized providers of COVID-19 testing nationally, but we can also help you interpret your community-level results and help you plan for the immediate future. It’s not always easy, but these resources are the best way to exercise caution, diminishing your likelihood of contracting a new infection yourself.


Have you recently contracted COVID? 

We can help! Whether it’s you or a loved one who’s tested positive for COVID—no matter where you received your test results—our team of providers are on standby 7 AM to 10 PM PDT, seven days a week, to offer you a virtual, 0—cost—to—patient treatment plan when and where you need it. Get treated for COVID-19 in five minutes or less.

Still have questions?

Gone are the days of crowded waiting rooms, daunting hospitals, and cold exam tables. At Rume, we offer care on your terms, where and when you need it, including telemedicine, drive thrus, and popups. You’ll get quick results and trusted insights.