CDC: Utahns should wear masks in all but one county based on COVID-19 transmission rates

Coronavirus Updates

(file/MGN photo)

(ABC4) – With the exception of Nebraska and multiple counties in California, nearly every state in the U.S. is reporting high or substantial community transmission of COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s data tracker. This includes all but one county in Utah.

Just before Labor Day, all of Utah’s 29 counties were reporting a high level of community transmission of COVID-19.

To be considered a high community transmission county, the CDC relies on the number of new cases per 100,000 persons within the last seven days. To fall in the high transmission category, that number must be 100 or greater. The CDC also reviews the percentage of positive tests during the seven-day period. A rate of 10% or higher will put a county in the high transmission category.

Mid-summer, the CDC advised everyone, regardless of vaccination status, should wear a mask indoors if they live in areas of substantial or high COVID-19 transmission.

As of Monday, Sept. 13, the CDC’s data tracker reports most U.S. counties – 3,023 – are reporting high community transmission. Another 95 are seeing substantial COVID-19 transmission. Nebraska, as it has been for the last few weeks, remains the bluest state. Blue represents low community transmission – about half of Nebraska’s counties are in that category. Based on the latest data, almost 10 of California’s counties are also in the low transmission category.

In Utah, all but one county are in the high transmission category. Rich County is in the moderate category, meaning it is yellow on the CDC’s map. In late August, Rich and Morgan counties were in the moderate and substantial categories, respectively.

Based on the latest CDC guidance, this means everyone, vaccinated or not, should be wearing a mask when indoors in all but one county.

On Friday, Sept. 10, just a few days after the Labor Day weekend, Utah reported over 2,100 new COVID-19 cases. From Sept. 5 through Sept. 10, the Utah Department of Health reported 7,522 new COVID-19 cases.

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