AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — As of Friday, new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that most individuals throughout the United States are able to loosen COVID-19 prevention measures, including the wearing of face coverings.

According to reports by the Associated Press, the CDC is focusing its measures based on how COVID-19 is impacting hospitals and not necessarily positive case results. However, the recommendations are not changing the requirement to wear masks on public transportation or while indoors at airports, train stations and bus stations. Officials also say that individuals with COVID-19 symptoms, or those who test positive, should continue to wear a mask.

As part of the new guidance, the CDC released its new COVID-19 Community Level chart. According to its website, the chart is a tool that helps “communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data.” The levels, split into low, medium and high, are determined by the “hospital beds being used, hospital admissions and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area.” The guidance from the CDC, suggesting what prevention steps the community should take, depends based on the status level:

Low

  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines;
  • Get tested if you have symptoms.

Medium

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

High

  • Wear a mask indoors in public;
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines;
  • Get tested if you have symptoms;
  • Additional precautions may be needed for peopel at high risk for severe illness.

“People may choose to wear a mask at any time,” the website reads. “People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.

The majority of counties within the United States, and the majority of counties within the state of Texas, are either in the low or the medium category, as of Friday. Potter and Randall counties are listed in the medium category on the CDC’s website as of Friday.

Here is what the CDC says is the COVID-19 community level throughout counties in the Texas Panhandle and throughout the High Plains region.

CountyCDC Community Level
ArmstrongMedium
BeaverLow
BriscoeHigh
CarsonHigh
CastroLow
ChildressMedium
CimarronLow
CollingsworthMedium
CottleLow
CurryMedium
DallamHigh
Deaf SmithMedium
Donley High
GrayLow
HallMedium
HardemanLow
HansfordHigh
HartleyHigh
HemphillMedium
HutchinsonMedium
LipscombLow
MooreHigh
OchiltreeMedium
OldhamHigh
ParmerLow
PotterMedium
QuayLow
RandallMedium
RobertsMedium
RooseveltLow
ShermanMedium
SwisherHigh
TexasLow
UnionMedium
WheelerLow

For more information about the COVID-19 pandemic in the Amarillo area as well as the overall High Plains region, visit the MyHighPlains.com website.