The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Delaware County currently has a Medium COVID-19 Community Level.
The information was part of the Delaware Public Health District’s latest COVID-19 update, issued on Aug. 19.
The CDC determined the level based on case rate per 100,000 population (165); new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population (12); and percent staffed inpatient beds in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19 (4%).
So, what does this mean for Delaware County residents? The CDC issued the following recommended actions based on the current level:
“Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Get tested if you have symptoms. Wear a mask if you have symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19. Wear a mask on public transportation. You may choose to wear a mask at any time as an additional precaution to protect yourself and others. If you are at high risk for severe illness, consider wearing a mask indoors in public and taking additional precautions.”
The majority of counties in Ohio, including neighboring Marion and Union, are high, based on data calculated last week. Several other counties, including Franklin, Knox, Licking and Morrow counties, are also at the medium level. Only two southeastern counties, Belmont and Monroe, have low COVID-19 Community Levels.
The CDC said that to date, more than 93 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the United States with 1,034,668 deaths. However, cases, deaths and hospital admissions from the infectious disease are trending downward in the U.S. In addition, more than one-third of Americans 5 or older have received two vaccinations and their first booster shot.
The Health District said the CDC has streamlined its COVID-19 guidance.
“In new guidelines released on Aug. 11, 2022, the CDC no longer recommends staying at least 6 feet away from other people to reduce the risk of exposure and is no longer advises quarantining people who’ve been exposed to COVID-19 but are not infected,” DPHD said.
The CDC said if you’re exposed to COVID-19, you should “watch for symptoms for 10 days, wear a mask around others indoors for 10 days, test 5 days after exposure (or sooner if you have symptoms), take extra precautions for 10 days when around people more likely to get very sick.”
The DPHD said if you do have COVID-19, “Regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate from others. You should also isolate if you are sick and suspect that you have COVID-19 but do not yet have test results. If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home. You are likely most infectious during these first 5 days.”
The CDC said you can “end isolation on day 6 or later if you never had symptoms or if you are fever-free for 24 hours and other symptoms improved.” Through day 10, “Wear a mask or use 2 negative antigen tests to decide when to stop wearing a mask. Avoid people at high risk of getting very sick.”
By day 11 or later, you can end isolation, the CDC said.
Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County. He may be reached at the above email address or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.