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COVID-19 spread in Travis and Williamson counties drops to 'low' level

An at-home COVID-19 testing kit.
Michael Minasi
New guidelines advise people who are exposed to COVID to wear a mask in public for 10 days and get tested five days after exposure rather than quarantining.

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COVID-19 spread in Travis and Williamson counties has dropped down to “low,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hays County is at the “medium” spread level.

The CDC uses a metric called COVID-19 Community Levels to help people understand how the disease is spreading in their county. The three levels — low, medium and high — are based on data like case numbers and hospitalizations. Each level brings with it a different set of precaution recommendations.

At all levels, the CDC urges people to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations and to avoid people who have or are suspected to have COVID-19.

Under the low level, masking is optional for all people in public. Under the medium level, high-quality masks are recommended in public for people who areat high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. Under the high level, it’s recommended everyone, regardless of vaccination status or risk level, wear a mask in public.

Last week, the CDC revised its COVID-19 guidance, including lifting the requirement to quarantine if exposed to the virus. Now if exposed, the CDC says to wear a mask in public for 10 days and get tested five days after exposure; those who develop symptoms or test positive should isolate (read the full guidance).

Austin Public Health says there are currently 104 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the five-country region, which includes Travis, Hays, Williamson, Bastrop and Caldwell. In Travis County, 345 new cases were reported on Thursday. In Williamson, 110 new cases were, and in Hays, 84 new cases were.

Marisa Charpentier is KUT's assistant digital editor. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @marisacharp.
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