COVID-19 Community Levels

Community levels represent CDC’s approach to consolidating COVID-19 data for local regions to determine the next prevention steps.


Local counties are rated as low, medium or high risk. These three categories are determined by the following variables:


  1. The number of hospital beds

  2. The number of hospital admissions in the last week

  3. The total number of new COVID-19 cases with the region in the last week



Before, there was a focus on total aggregate counts of COVID-19 cases (i.e., how many people have COVID-19)


Now, the community level approach to data prioritizes the risk and prevention of severe illness.

Low, Medium and High Community Levels - What Do They Mean


Each community level describes COVID’s impact on healthcare facilities and the number of severe illness cases.


Low Community Levels


A region classified as a low-risk community level will have

 

  • A relatively small or limited impact on healthcare facilities

  • Low numbers of severe illness cases


Medium Community Levels


Medium risk community levels characterize regions with

 

  • Moderate impact on healthcare facilities

  • Medium counts of severe COVID-19 cases


High Community Levels


High risk community levels characterize regions with

 

  • High risk of strain on healthcare systems

  • High numbers of severe COVID-19 cases


COVID-19 Community Levels in Connecticut


If you are interested in learning about the risk level of your county, the CDC offers an online tracker tool. Input your zipcode to see which community level your region falls into.


The data tracker will show current community levels for all eight CT counties

 

  • Fairfield

  • Hartford

  • New Haven

  • New London

  • Windham

  • Litchfield

  • Middlesex

  • Tolland

 

Community levels (for local prevention) are different from CDC's Community Transmission dynamic map which is used by healthcare facilities. 


COVID-19 Prevention Based on Community Level


Each community level is also associated with a set of CDC prevention measures. Here is a summary.


Low risk counties


In low-risk counties, it is important to

  • Get tested when there are symptoms

  • Stay up to date with vaccines/boosters


Medium risk counties


If you live in a medium risk county

  • Understand if you have a high risk for becoming seriously ill. If so, ask your doctor if you should wear a mask in public and abide by other precautions

  • Stay on top of your COVID-19 vaccines and boosters

  • Get tested for COVID-19 if you experience symptoms


High risk counties


Since high-risk counties have higher numbers of severe illness. The CDC recommends the following prevention measures


  • Wear a mask in public indoor spaces

  • Stay current with your COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters

  • Get tested if you are exhibiting symptoms

  • Follow any additional precautions recommended for those who have a high risk of becoming severely ill

 

In Connecticut and other states, it is important to stay on top of the latest data and the newest changes in the COVID-19 pandemic. While total aggregate counts are still helpful, community risk levels help provide clarity on the next steps to take within a particular region.