AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that as of June 30, nearly 70% of the US population was in a location with a raised COVID-19 Community Level, and advised caution moving ahead into the summer.

While the majority of the High Plains appeared to qualify under a “Low” COVID-19 Community Level in the CDC’s latest interactive map, a handful of counties across the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles were given a “Medium” level.

Potter, Armstrong, Gray, Roberts, Wheeler, Hemphill, and Hansford Counties were among those in Texas with a raised level. Texas and Cimarron Counties in Oklahoma, as well as Curry County in New Mexico, also reported raised community levels.

According to the CDC, each Community Level is determined by analyzing the number of new cases of COVID-19 and the percentage of staffed hospital beds in use by COVID-19 patients across a period of seven days. For the latest level grading available on its website, the CDC said that it used data from June 22 through June 28.

via the CDC

The CDC advised community members to use caution generally regarding COVID-19 according to their county’s Community Level.

For those in a county with a “Low” COVID-19 Community Level, the CDC advised:

For those in a county with a “Medium” COVID-19 Community Level, the CDC advised:

  • If you are at high risk for severe illness, talk with your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations
  • Get tested for COVID-19 if you are experiencing symptoms

For those in a county with a “High” COVID-19 Community Level, the CDC advised:

  • Wear a mask indoors while in public
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations
  • Get tested for COVID-19 if you are experiencing symptoms
  • Take suggested other precautions if you are at high risk for severe illness

The CDC also advised those who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease to take extra precautions to protect themselves, by offering additional recommendations for each COVID-19 Community Level. Those recommendations included suggestions on an individual and household level, as well as on a community level for local leaders and organizers.

Also, while people can choose to mask at any time, the CDC suggested that those with symptoms of COVID-19, a positive test, or recent exposure to someone with COVID-19 wear a mask, Masks are also recommended for indoor public transportation and might be required in other places by local or state authorities.

For the latest updates on COVID-19, breaking news, and weather, check with MyHighPlains.com.