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New masking guidelines: What does 'substantial or high transmission' mean?

coronavirus
Posted at 9:29 PM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-29 12:16:49-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending new masking guidelines for vaccinated people, NewsChannel 5 wanted to take a closer look.

The CDC says even vaccinated people should wear masks in indoor public places in areas of substantial or high transmission of COVID-19. The CDC has a specific definition of what "substantial" and "high" transmission means -- something you might find useful to know.

The two indicators the CDC uses to determine community transmission level are: the number of new cases per 100,000 people over the past week and positivity rate -- the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests -- over the past week.

The CDC says you live in an area of substantial or high transmission if your county has 50 or more new cases per 100,000 people over the past week or an 8% positivity rate or higher.

According to the CDC, that means nearly every county in Middle Tennessee is an area of substantial or high transmission.

Nashville entered that designation on July 20 - and has stayed there ever since.

The CDC has a county-by-county nationwide map to determine what transmission level your county is in.