RICHMOND, VA. (WRIC) — This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Richmond City and Henrico County have low COVID-19 Community Levels for the first time in weeks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s use COVID-19 Community Levels as a tool to help communities see how many active COVID-19 cases they are dealing with, and to help them decide what prevention steps to take going forward. Community Levels range from low to high and are determined by looking at the number of hospital beds in a community being used for COVID-19, hospital admissions and total number of new COVID-19 cases reported each day.

On Thursday, Richmond City and Henrico County received a low COVID-19 Community Level report for the first time in weeks. Previously, the City and the county both had medium COVID-19 Community Levels.

“We are very encouraged by seeing our COVID-19 community levels drop this week,” Dr. Elaine Perry, Director of Richmond and Henrico Health Districts, said. “We hope people enjoy this time of low levels while still remaining flexible and ready to implement more mitigation procedures should we shift back into higher levels.”

Even for communities with a low Community Level, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still has some guidance for how people who live, work, and spend time in these areas can keep themselves and others healthy. Guidelines include:

  • Staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations
  • Maintaining ventilation improvements
  • Avoiding contact with people who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19
  • Following recommendations for isolation if you have suspected or confirmed COVID-19
  • Follow mask-wearing recommendations if you have been exposed to COVID-19.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, another important tool in keeping COVID-19 levels low is bivalent boosters, which cover many variants of the virus. Richmond and Henrico Health Districts began administrating these boosters on Sept. 14.

“Bivalent boosters are the best tool we have to help keep us at low COVID-19 levels,” Amy Popovich, Nurse Manager at Richmond and Henrico Health Districts, said. “Not only will it help protect you against the Omicron variants, it also helps reduce community transmission, which is so important during the colder months where respiratory illness spreads more easily.”

Bivalent boosters are currently available through private providers, local pharmacies, and Richmond and Henrico Health Districts. To learn more about vaccination opportunities, visit rhhd.gov or call 804-205-3501.