The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the COVID-19 community transmission in Howard County has reached the “Substantial” level. Substantial community transmission is defined by the CDC as between 50 and 99 cases per 100,000 during a seven-day rolling average.

Howard County is currently averaging 53.43 cases per 100,000 over the past seven days (8/3-8/9/21). When a local jurisdiction’s community transmission level is considered substantial or high, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated individuals:

  • Wear a mask indoors in public spaces to reduce the risk of being infected with the Delta variant and possibly spreading it to others.
  • Everyday activities should be limited to reduce spread and protect the health care system.
  • Practice every day preventative actions, including washing your hands often, maintain six feet of physical distance, avoid crowds and poorly ventilated areas, cover coughs and sneezes, frequently disinfect commonly-touched surfaces.
  • You might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if a member of your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.
  • If you’ve had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should get tested 3-5 days after your exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms. You should also wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until your test result is negative. You should isolate for 10 days if your test result is positive.
  • Businesses and other workplaces may set their own policies to protect public health as they deem appropriate.

Regardless of community transmission level, the CDC recommends that unvaccinated individuals wear a face covering in indoor settings and situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The best protection against COVID-19 continues to be vaccination. Anyone who is eligible for the vaccine and not yet fully-vaccinated can visit for a list of community vaccination clinics in the County.

For more information and COVID-19 updates from the Health Department, including a dashboard tracking COVID-19 cases in Howard County, visit