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Map: A county-by-county look at COVID-19 transmission in the United States

As the Northeast and other parts of the country grapple with a highly transmissible offshoot of the Omicron variant, community transmission levels are once again rising, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Recent data from the CDC show that huge swaths of the United States are experiencing “high” COVID-19 transmission. Roughly half of all US counties are currently experiencing high transmission rates, according to the data, including nearly all counties in the upper Midwest and Northeast, including all counties in Massachusetts. Another 557 counties were seeing “substantial” transmission, while 1,065 had “low” or “moderate” transmission levels.

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Community transmission levels are determined by the percentage of COVID tests that are positive in a given county, or the number of new cases over the last seven days, whichever is higher.

The CDC provides county-level transmission data for health care facility use, and no longer urges public health officials to use it as a basis for decision making around public health measures like mask mandates. The agency instead urges the use of community COVID level data, which comes with recommendations about who should wear masks depending on the severity the outbreak. Under that metric, many, but not all, Massachusetts counties have a “high” level of COVID.

Community COVID levels are determined by hospitalization rates and hospital capacity metrics.


Christina Prignano can be reached at christina.prignano@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.