On May 11, the federal pandemic health emergency ended. As part of this change, the CDC replaced the COVID-19 community levels metric with COVID-19 hospital admission levels. CDC data show that 99% of the time, the new hospital level corresponded with the old CDC community levels. The prevention steps recommended for each level are consistent with previous community level recommendations.
To learn more about changes happening with the end of the federal pandemic health emergency, see this press release from the state health department (MDHHS).
Washtenaw County is currently at a "low" COVID-19 Hospital Admission Level.
CDC guidance at this level doesn't include broad masking recommendations. However, at all levels, people can wear a mask based on preference or risk. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask. If choosing to wear a mask, a multilayer surgical, KN95, or N95 mask is recommended rather than a cloth mask.
Everyone is encouraged to use available, effective strategies to prevent and reduce the spread of illness in our community, including:
- Get vaccinated and stay up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccinations (https://vaccinefinder.org). Everyone eligible should get vaccinated. Protection can weaken over time after getting vaccinated. Make sure you get your booster(s) as recommended (www.washtenaw.org/covid19vaccine).
- Seek testing if feeling ill or if you have been exposed.
- Stay away from others if you are feeling ill, are waiting for test results, or have tested positive (www.washtenaw.org/covid19whattodo). If you test positive, talk to your doctor right away about treatment options to prevent severe illness.
- Avoid contact with people who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you’re exposed to someone with COVID, wear a mask around others, monitor symptoms, and test 5 days after exposure (www.washtenaw.org/covid19whattodo).
- Maintain improved ventilation throughout indoor spaces when possible.
If you are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, the CDC recommends talking with your healthcare provider about whether you should take additional preventative actions.
Those who are immunocompromised or have a history of severe allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines may be eligible for medications to help prevent COVID-19. Talk to your healthcare provider or learn more here.
Please remember that COVID-19 is still present and will be part of our lives for a while, perhaps even indefinitely. Additional surges are possible and recommendations regarding prevention strategies may change as conditions evolve or in the event that Washtenaw County moves to a higher level. Please be prepared to take measures in the future to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community. Learn more about hospital admission levels and prevention recommendations here.
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