Every Texas county is at the highest COVID transmission rate: CDC

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To prevent the spread of COVID-19, air travelers wear masks and are separated by plexiglass as they make their way through security at Love Field in Dallas, Friday, Dec. 31, 2021. Flight cancellations surged again on the last day of 2021, with airlines blaming it on crew shortages related to the spike in COVID-19 infections. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

(NEXSTAR) – Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in the U.S., with the surge even more apparent in the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of Thursday, all but 19 U.S. counties are experiencing high community transmission of COVID-19. A high transmission rate means a county has reported 100 or more new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people in the past seven days, or has 10% or more positive Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAATs) during the same time frame.

Currently, more than 99% of the U.S. has met or exceeded that threshold. That includes all 254 counties in Texas, as seen in the CDC map below.

Level of community transmission of COVID-19 in Texas as of Jan. 13, 2022. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

The CDC’s latest data shows Texas has reported over 375,000 new cases of COVID-19 over the last seven days. That equates to roughly 1,863 new cases per 100,000 persons. Counties seeing the highest case rates over the last seven days include Loving, Jim Hogg, and Tom Green.

One-quarter of the tests conducted in Texas have come back positive over the last seven days, the CDC reports.

Under the CDC’s guidelines, a county can only move from high community transmission down to substantial community transmission when new cases per 100,000 over the past seven days drop between 50 and 99.99, or the percentage of positive test results in the same period is between 8% and 9.99%.

The county closest to reaching that threshold in terms of new cases is Brewster County, which has a case rate of 173.86 per 100,000 people over seven days. Haskell County is reporting the lowest positive testing percentage at 0%, the CDC shows.

The CDC recommends everyone living in counties marked with high or substantial community transmission of COVID-19 wear a mask while in public, indoor settings.

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