February 27, 2022 — In response to the growing consensus that the Omicron coronavirus variant is more transmissible but causes less severe disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released on Friday a new framework for measuring community Covid-19 levels that focuses less on positive test results and more on hospital utilization rates.
The CDC will now report the amount of COVID-19 in a community at the county level as Low, Medium or High. The degree is determined on new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population during the past 7 days, the percent of utilized inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients along with total new COVID-19 infections per 100,000 people in the last 7 days.
The new framework significantly shifts the makeup of the CDC’s risk map. Now, according to the agency, more than 70 percent of Americans live in counties where SARS-CoV-2 poses a low or medium risk. Per the guidance, healthy individuals in low to medium risk counties do not need to wear a mask at indoor public settings.
People, including schoolchildren, are advised to wear masks where the risk level of COVID-19 is high. You can check out your local community COVID-19 Risk level here.
The updated CDC guidance does not change the rules requiring travelers to wear masks on public transportation and indoors at airports, bus stations and train stations.
Omicron Name Used for Several Lineages of Coronavirus. 4U Health. Updated February 25, 2022.
N95 Masks Offer Better Protection Against COVID Omicron Variant Than Cloth Face Coverings, CDC Says. 4U Health. Updated February 24, 2022.
Saliva COVID Test Better Than Nasal Swabs To Detect Omicron, Study Says. 4U Health. Updated February 24, 2022.
About 4U Health
4U Health offers at-home lab testing to help you feel like your best self. Visit us at 4uHealth.com to learn about our COVID-19 Antibody Self-Collection At Home Test Kit, explore healthy living and wellness topics, and view our full at-home lab testing menu.
If you’re interested in hospital grade home PCR COVID test kits to detect COVID-19 (including Omicron and its other variants), check out 4U Health’s COVID-19 Active Infection Self-Collection Test. It’s approved for children 5+ and adults alike. For the timeliest results, we recommend having our “just-in-case” saliva kit stocked in your medicine cabinet so you can test on your terms. Overnight shipping is included and official digital results are typically within 24 hours of receipt by the lab.
Updated: February 27, 2022