As the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus continues to spread across the country, more and more counties are raising their community transmission risk rates.

Last night, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has raised the risk level of Kent County from "substantial" to "high". Since the beginning of July, COVID-19 cases have slowly risen in Kent County while vaccination rates plateaued, which has led to the increased risk level. According to the CDC, Kent County currently has 327,374 vaccinated residents which amounts to 49.8% of the total population, far below the 70%+ rate require for herd immunity.

In an article by Wood TV 8, "'High' transmission is defined as more than 100 cases per 100,000 people, or a positivity rate of 10% or more in the past seven days. Kent County currently has a seven-day positivity rate of 8.4% and the seven-day average for new cases is 103 per 100,000."

The CDC recommends that residents living in counties with "substantial" or "high" transmission risk wear masks indoors, but the local, state, and federal governments have not issued any new mandates as if yet.

Even though the COVID-19 cases have continued to rise in Kent County and other surrounding West Michigan counties, the numbers are still far below where they were during previous surges. The 7-day average of new COVID-19 infections in Kent County has remained near 100 new infections, but the numbers have been slowly increasing over the last few weeks. Since Kent County began recording COVID-19 infections and deaths, they have recorded 70,485 cases and 804 deaths.

You can see the entire COVID-19 Community Transmission map at Covid.CDC.gov.

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