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Majority Of Tri-State Has 'Substantial' Or 'High' COVID Transmission, Prompting New CDC Guidance

CDC county covid transmission map.png
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A map of COVID-19 transmission status by county.

Nearly every county in the Tri-State now has substantial or high transmission of COVID-19, triggering new guidance from the CDC on mask wearing and testing.

The CDC identifies "substantial transmission" when an area has more than 50 cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days. "High transmission," the highest category, is defined as having more than 100 cases per 100,000 population.

Updated guidance for the area includes wearing a mask in all public, indoor settings – even if you're fully vaccinated. The CDC also recommends fully vaccinated people get tested for COVID-19 if they come into close contact with a known case. And schools should require universal indoor masking for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

"What we're finding is because there are so many unvaccinated people, COVID is spreading somewhat rapidly within the community," said County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman. "And even folks that are vaccinated are able to spread COVID even though they might not get as sick as they would without the vaccine."

Kesterman says virus activity has exploded across the region, with new COVID hospitalizations nearly tripling in the last couple of weeks.

"It is hopeful that some of the messaging and some of the work that we're doing now will help to slow the spread of COVID-19, but unfortunately if things don't change, we will soon be in the highest level of caution from the CDC," he said.

About 70% of counties across the country have substantial or high transmission, and less than 8% of counties have low transmission.

According to federal data, several counties in the area are at the highest level of transmission:

  • Adams County, OH
  • Boone County, KY
  • Grant County, KY
  • Bracken County, KY
  • Dearborn County, IN
  • Franklin County, IN
  • Union County, IN

Another handful of counties have "substantial transmission," the second-highest level:

  • Hamilton County, OH
  • Butler County, OH
  • Preble County, OH
  • Warren County, OH
  • Montgomery County, OH
  • Brown County, OH
  • Highland County, OH
  • Clinton County, OH
  • Green County, OH
  • Fayette County, OH
  • Kenton County, KY
  • Campbell County, KY
  • Pendleton County, KY
  • Gallatin County, KY
  • Mason County, KY
  • Harrison County, KY
  • Jefferson County, IN

See an interactive map of county-level transmission status on the CDC website.

CDC community transmission chart.png
A chart showing the CDC's definitions for low, moderate, substantial, and high transmission of COVID-19, as well as the number of U.S. counties at each transmission level.