Boxes of COVID-19 home antigen tests are displayed on a table in Walgreens.
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As of Thursday, Washtenaw County is at a “high” COVID-19 community level for the first time since February, according to a Washtenaw County Health Department news brief. The heightened community level comes with new public health recommendations, including wearing masks indoors in public and additional precautions for people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease. 

“People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should definitely wear a mask,” the brief reads. “Choose a multilayer surgical, KN95, or N95 mask rather than a cloth mask.”

For those who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, the update suggests being more cautious than in other stages of the pandemic. 

“Additional precautions may be needed for people at high risk for severe illness,” the brief reads. “Consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed, have a plan for rapid testing if needed, and talk to your health care provider about whether you need to take other precautions.”

From July 19 to July 25, the COVID-19 case rate in Washtenaw was 224.4 per 100,000 residents, while the case rate the previous week — from July 12 to July 18 — was 204.6 per 100,000 residents.

The number of new weekly COVID-19 cases has continually increased since the week of June 18, with the exception of a slight decrease in case numbers during the week of July 16.

The University announced its COVID-19 policies for the 2022-2023 academic term in a June email to the U-M community. According to that email, recommendations for mask usage in most indoor spaces will be based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 community level for Washtenaw County. The updated policy allows for optional masking in instructional spaces, which was still required under the March update.

Summer Managing News Editor Eli Friedman can be reached at