WCCHD TRANSITIONS TO CDC DATA TRACKER FOR COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION PHASES
November 15, 2021 – Effective today, Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD) will be using the CDC Data Tracker for determining Gating Phases in Williamson County. The Phases are used to inform the public of the COVID-19 community transmission risk.
The Data Tracker site (https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view) provides an integrated, standardized view of key data for monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic in Williamson and the surrounding counties, and across the United States. The CDC levels of risk are shown in the table below:
CDC looks at two numbers — total new cases and percent positivity — to determine the level of community transmission.
- Total new cases refers to a county’s rate of new COVID-19 infections, reported over the past 7 days, per every 100,000 residents. To calculate this number, CDC divides the total number of new infections by the total population in that county. CDC multiplies this number by 100,000.
- Percent positivity refers to the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests in a county over the past 7 days. This number is based on reports from states on a specific type of test known as a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT). To calculate this number, CDC divides the number of positive tests by the total number of NAATs performed in that county. CDC multiplies this number by 100 to calculate the percentage of all tests that were positive.
A higher number of total new cases and a higher percent positivity correspond with a higher level of community transmission, as shown below. If the values for each of these two metrics differ (for example, if one indicates moderate and the other low), then the higher of the two should be used to make decisions about mask use in a county. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/aboutcovidcountycheck/
The case data that CDC Data Tracker uses is imported from the WCCHD dashboard, and based on the case and test activity, will assign a level of risk of transmission. The WCCHD Phased Gating Stages document will no longer be referenced.
WCCHD advises any organization that is informing policies based on the Data Tracker to consider including that changes will occur after seven consecutive days in the same-colored phase to account for possible fluctuations.
With the high level of community transmission and the upcoming holiday season, the following is recommended for all regardless of vaccination status:
- Wear a mask to protect yourself and others and stop the spread of COVID-19.
- Stay at least 6 feet from others who don’t live with you.
- Avoid crowds. The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19.
Getting vaccinated is the most effective way to prevent COVID-19 infection. To find a vaccine location near you, visit www.vaccines.gov, or text your ZIP code to GETVAX (438829) in English or VACUNA (822862) in Spanish, or call 833-832-7067 for a referral to a local vaccine provider.
For more information on COVID-19 please visit www.wcchd.org/COVID-19.