By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
Data show the level of COVID infections and hospitalization rates put Greene County in the green, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There are three community levels measured by the agency with regard to the COVID-19 virus — high, or red; medium, or yellow; and low, or green.
The community level determines the CDC’s recommendation on indoor mask wearing.
Greene County was in the lowest echelon of risk as of Friday, according to CDC data.
“CDC looks at the combination of three metrics — new COVID admissions per 100,000 population in the past seven days, the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and the total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days — to determine the COVID-19 community level,” according to the CDC.
Neighboring Columbia and Ulster counties are also deemed at a low level, and Albany County is ranked at medium.
There are no counties in New York state ranked in the high, or red, zone.
Hospital admissions and percent of inpatient beds occupied measures the virus’ strain on the local health care system, according to CDC.
For communities ranked at the “low” threshold, DEC recommends residents stay up to date with COVID vaccines and booster shots, maintain improved ventilation in indoor spaces where possible, and follow CDC recommendations for testing, isolation and quarantine if an individual is exposed to or has symptoms of the virus.
In communities at the “low” level, wearing face masks indoors is optional, according to the CDC.
Individuals who are immunocompromised or who are otherwise at high risk for severe complications if they contract the virus may want to take additional precautions.
New York state removed the mask mandate in businesses statewide effective Feb. 10 and in schools March 2.