County Alert System COVID-19 County Alert System will be updated every other week. North Carolina’s key metrics show a leveling off of trends in COVID-19 spread after several weeks of decline. Although levels are far below the post-holiday peak in January, most of the state continues to experience significant or substantial community spread with concerning increases in younger age groups. Continued adherence to the 3Ws – wearing a face mask, waiting six feet apart, and washing hands often – along with people getting vaccinated as soon as soon as one is available to them are critically important to slow the spread of the virus. The COVID-19 County Alert System gives individuals, businesses and community organizations, and public officials a tool to understand how their county is faring and to make decisions about actions to take slow the spread of the virus. The COVID-19 County Alert System uses metrics informed by North Carolina’s key metrics to categorize counties into five tiers: 1. Green: Low Community Spread 2. Light Yellow: Moderate Community Spread 3. Yellow: Significant Community Spread 4. Orange: Substantial Community Spread 5. Red: Critical Community Spread Because no one metric provides a complete picture, the COVID-19 County Alert System uses a combination of three metrics: case rate, the percent of tests that are positive, and hospital impact within the county. There are critical actions we can all take to slow the spread of COVID-19, regardless of whether your county is currently in the yellow, orange, or red tier. Individuals, businesses, community organizations, and public officials all have a responsibility to take these recommended actions, in addition to following the requirements in existing Executive Orders and NCDHHS guidance. Red and orange counties need to do even more to slow the spread of COVID-19 in their communities; it is strongly recommended these counties go further and build upon current requirements as outlined in the recommendations below. Data (.xlsx) will be updated with the COVID-19 County Alert System.