COVID risk grows in St. Johns County
The spread of COVID-19 has pushed St. Johns County into a more serious level of risk.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now lists St. Johns County as medium risk. The rest of Northeast Florida remains in the low-risk category.
St. Johns County recorded 206 cases per 100,000 population in the latest weekly report. In comparison, Duval County reported 177 cases per 100,000 people.
The CDC determines risk levels based on hospital admissions, the percentage of hospital beds used and the total number of new COVID-19 cases.
At the medium level, the CDC recommends talking to your health care provider about the need for a mask if you are at high risk for severe illness. The CDC does not suggest a mask indoors for the majority of people, but it says people should wear a mask if they have symptoms, had a positive COVID test or were exposed to someone with COVID.
COVID-19 cases have been growing across Florida, and nine counties are now rated as high risk: Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Pasco, Sarasota, Alachua, Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach.
At the high level, the CDC recommends wearing a mask indoors in public and on public transportation.
Florida's case counts are as high as they’ve been since mid-February, and most health officials note that cases are underreported because many people take COVID tests at home without reporting the results.
The number of Florida hospital inpatients with COVID-19 increased nearly 17% this week, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.