Since the start of the pandemic, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of more than 41,000 Georgians. While many have largely returned to pre-pandemic activities, it is important to remember that there are still thousands of new cases in Georgia every day. Vulnerable populations, including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, have a higher risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released several interactive tools to help you better understand the COVID-19 risks in your local community, learn when you are eligible for boosters, and when you should isolate if you have tested positive or been exposed to COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Community Level tool allows you to look at your specific county’s COVID-19 community level. Measured in low, medium, or high, COVID-19 community levels are based on weekly total of new cases, new hospital admissions, and the percent of inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. Recommendations based on your county’s COVID-19 community level can help you know what to do when there is a higher risk of contracting the virus.
When the COVID-19 community level is low, you should avoid contact with people who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and isolate from others if you have been exposed or test positive.
When the COVID-19 community level is medium, in addition to avoiding contact with people who have COVID-19 and isolating from others if you test positive, if you have a higher risk of becoming ill or are in frequent contact with a high-risk individual, consider wearing a high-quality mask or respirator when indoors in public or when socializing.
When the COVID-19 community level is high, high-quality masks or respirators are recommended at all times. If you have a higher risk of becoming ill or are in frequent contact with a high-risk individual, consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public. Frequent self-testing before coming in contact with a high-risk individual can help to avoid passing the virus. When the community level is high, continue to avoid contact with people who have tested positive and isolate yourself if you test positive.
As always, stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and all recommended boosters, including the updated bivalent booster. Find a vaccine near you at vaccines.gov. Anyone ages six months and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and boosters are available for those ages five and older. You can use this tool to know when you should get your next vaccine dose or booster.