Most New England counties are at a medium to low risk level for COVID-19 transmission, new CDC data shows, but there are some high risk communities as well.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new map that shows the risk level of COVID-19 by county in every state, with less of a focus on positive test results and more on what’s happening at hospitals.
The map was launched Friday in conjunction with the agency's new recommendations, which determined that most healthy Americans, including students, can safely remove their masks.
Sign up for our Breaking newsletter to get the most urgent news stories in your inbox.
The CDC is offering a color-coded map — with counties designated as orange, yellow or green — to help guide local officials and residents.
In green counties, local officials can drop any indoor masking rules. Yellow means people at high risk for severe disease should be cautious. Orange designates places where the CDC suggests masking should be universal.
How a county comes to be designated green, yellow or orange will depend on its rate of new COVID-19 hospital admissions, the share of staffed hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients and the rate of new cases in the community.
Here's how New England states are faring:
All but one county in Massachusetts is colored green, which means low risk for COVID-19 transmission, the exception being Hampshire County, which is yellow for medium risk.
All counties in the state of Maine are colored yellow, which indicates medium risk for COVID-19 transmission.
Most counties in New Hampshire are green, or low risk for COVID-19 transmission, except for Belknap County, Rockingham County and Hillsborough County, which are yellow for medium risk.
Vermont is split, with different counties at colored as green, yellow and orange for low, medium and high risk of COVID-19 transmission. Both Rutland County and Bennington County are colored orange to indicate high risk. Grand Isle, Franklin, Lamoille and Caledonia are green, or low risk, while the remainder of Vermont's counties are yellow, or medium risk.
All counties in the state of Rhode Island have the color green, which means they're listed as low risk for COVID-19 transmission.
All counties in the state of Connecticut have the color green, which means they're listed as low risk for COVID-19 transmission.