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What color is your county? New COVID-19 County Alert System pinpoints high virus transmission rates

The new color-coded map pinpoints counties with high virus transmission rates.
Credit: NCDHHS
North Carolina introduces COVID-19 County Alert System

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The state of North Carolina released a new COVID-19 County Alert System on Tuesday.

The new color-coded map pinpoints counties with high virus transmission rates.

The system uses metrics informed by the White House Coronavirus Task Force and North Carolina’s key metrics to categorize counties into three tiers:

Yellow: Significant Community Spread

Orange: Substantial Community Spread

Red: Critical Community Spread

To be assigned to the red or orange tier, a county must meet the threshold for case rate for that tier and the threshold for either percent positive or hospital impact.

Case Rate: The number of new cases in 14 days per 100,000 people

Percent Positive: The percent of tests that are positive over 14 days

Hospital Impact: A composite score based on the impact that COVID-19 has had on hospitals including percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations, COVID-19 related visits to the Emergency Department, staffed open hospital beds, and critical staffing shortages over 14 days.

RELATED: ‘Alarming COVID-19 Trend in Triad,’ North Carolina releases color-coded COVID-19 alert system

The following Piedmont Triad counties are under “Red” with Critical Community Spread and include: Davie, Wilkes counties.

The following Piedmont Triad counties are in “Yellow” with Significant Community Spread and include: Guilford, Davidson, Alamance and Alleghany counties.

The following Piedmont Triad counties are in “Orange” with Substantial Community Spread and include:

Rockingham, Randolph, Montgomery, Forsyth, Stokes, Surry, Yadkin and Caswell counties.

Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston said he thinks the new alert system is an "excellent tool," and that the county will adopt the recommended guidelines outlines by the state.

"Do whatever is necessary to protect our citizens from this serious virus," Alston said. 

Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines said he is working with the city manager to put together a strategy that addresses the state's guidelines. 

Joines said the city is starting another campaign Wednesday to encourage mask-wearing as we approach the holidays. 

Joines also said they'll be looking at the possibility of local fines for noncompliance with the governor's orders, but no decisions have been made yet. Joines said they're also hoping to collaborate with Forsyth County as well. 

Here's where Triad counties stand right now. This is based on data gathered between Nov. 1 and Nov. 14.:

  • Alamance > YELLOW
    • 391.1 cases per 100K people over 14 days
    • 6.8% percent positive rate over 14 days
    • Low hospital impact
  • Alleghany > YELLOW
    • 386.1 cases per 100K people over 14 days
    • 7.1% percent positive rate over 14 days
    • Low hospital impact
  • Caswell > ORANGE
    • 380.5 cases per 100K people over 14 days
    • 8.2% percent positive rate over 14 days
    • Low hospital impact
  • Davidson > YELOW
    • 337.1 cases per 100K people over 14 days
    • 7.4% percent positive rate over 14 days
    • Low hospital impact
  • Davie > RED
    • 410.8 cases per 100K people over 14 days
    • 10.4% percent positive rate over 14 days
    • Low hospital impact
  • Forsyth > ORANGE
    • 465.3 cases per 100K people over 14 days
    • 8.6% percent positive rate over 14 days
    • Low hospital impact
  • Guilford > YELLOW
    • 395.6 cases per 100K people over 14 days
    • 7.9% percent positive rate over 14 days
    • Low hospital impact
  • Montgomery > ORANGE
    • 250.2 cases per 100K people over 14 days
    • 8.5% percent positive rate over 14 days
    • Low hospital impact
  • Randolph > ORANGE
    • 483.1 cases per 100K people over 14 days
    • 9.6% percent positive rate over 14 days
    • Moderate hospital impact
  • Rockingham > ORANGE
    • 445.0 cases per 100K people over 14 days
    • 8.3% percent positive rate over 14 days
    • Low hospital impact
  • Stokes > ORANGE
    • 414.6 cases per 100K people over 14 days
    • 6.9% percent positive rate over 14 days
    • Moderate hospital impact
  • Surry > ORANGE
    • 502.9 cases per 100K people over 14 days
    • 9.9% percent positive rate over 14 days
    • Moderate hospital impact
  • Wilkes > RED
    • 574.5 cases per 100K people over 14 days
    • 10.5% percent positive rate over 14 days
    • Low hospital impact
  • Yadkin > ORANGE
    • 414.2 cases per 100K people over 14 days
    • 8.7% percent positive rate over 14 days
    • Low hospital impact