The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated the COVID-19 community levels for Rhode Island’s counties. Four counties – Bristol County, Kent County, Newport County, and Washington County – are now at the “medium” level (Kent County and Newport County decreased from being “high” last week.) Providence County still has the “high” designation.

The CDC determines the COVID-19 community level in every county in the country on a weekly basis, using case rates, data on hospital admissions, and percentage of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. The CDC encourages everyone to take certain prevention measures regardless of their county’s designation.

The CDC recommends staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccination, including booster doses. The Omicron booster doses currently being administered are providing good protection against the dominant variant circulating in Rhode Island. People are also encouraged to ventilate indoor spaces as well as possible, avoid contact with people who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19, and follow recommendations for isolation if you have suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are at high risk of getting very sick, talk with a healthcare provider about additional prevention actions.

Additionally, the CDC recommends that people in “medium” counties consider self-testing and masking when around those who are at high risk for getting very sick. For people in “high” counties, CDC recommends wearing high-quality masks while in crowded, indoor public settings. (This is a recommendation, not a requirement.) The full recommendations by community level from the CDC are available online.