DALLAS — New mask guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday focused on two main locations: Schools and "high transmission" areas in public.
The schools angle was straightforward, with the CDC recommending all teachers, staff and students wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
But for the general public, how do you know if you're in a "high transmission" area? Those COVID-19 hotspots are where the CDC is now recommending that all people, vaccinated or not, should wear a mask indoors in public.
The guidance is based on the CDC's community transmission map, which measures the level of COVID-19 spread for every county in the U.S.
The transmission levels range from low transmission to moderate to substantial to high.
For high transmission areas, COVID-19 cases will have surpassed 100 new cases per 100,000 residents over the last seven days, or the positivity rate will have exceeded 10%.
For the substantial transmission areas, cases will have ranged from 50-99.9 cases per 100,000 residents and the positivity rate will have ranged from 8-9.99%.
What does that look like in North Texas? Dallas, Tarrant and Denton counties are all considered high transmission areas. Collin County remains in the less-severe substantial transmission range.
Ellis, Rockwall, Parker, Hood, Johnson, Wise and Kaufman counties are also considered high transmission areas in North Texas.
Nationwide, 46.43% of all counties are high transmission area, up 17.11% from a week ago, according to the CDC data.
COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations have been climbing for weeks across North Texas, as the Delta variant has become more prevalent. Last week, Dallas County moved the county back to Level Orange on its COVID-19 threat level for unvaccinated people.