Health care officials in Williamson County have again raised the county’s color-based phase guidelines of coronavirus risk of exposure after a second straight week of rapidly climbing infection rates.

The Williamson County and Cities Health District announced July 19 the county on July 17 met the criteria to increase to the COVID-19 Red Phase. According to guidelines, this phase means the county has uncontrolled community spread of coronavirus and has not seen a decline in the COVID-19 infection rate or hospitalization rates for at least the past 7 days.

The July 19 incidence rate for new coronavirus cases in Williamson County is 14.54 cases per 100,000 people, according to a WCCHD news release. On July 1, the rate of new infections was 2.5 per 100,000 people. The rate of 14.54 cases per 100,000 residents is the highest rate Williamson County has reported since March 3, according to the WCCHD COVID-19 dashboard.

Residents age 18-30 years old and 31-50 years old represent the two segments of the population with the highest number of new cases.

The rate of hospitalizations has also doubled in the past two weeks, according to the WCCHD. Coronavirus hospitalizations now occur with 4.65% of active cases.

The change in the Williamson County COVID-19 phase does not result in any changes to local rules or regulations for businesses, the WCCHD said in its July 19 news release.

However, with incident rates continuing to climb the WCCHD is recommending residents wear masks to slow down the spread of COVID-19, and maintain 6 feet of distance from others who do not live with you. Residents are further recommended to avoid crowds of people. These are recommendations for both unvaccinated and fully vaccinated people, per the WCCHD.

The WCCHD continues to recommend all eligible residents get vaccinated. Residents can visit or call 833-832-7067 to find a vaccine provider in Williamson County.

Williamson County’s COVID-19 dashboard states 60.21% of county residents are vaccinated as of July 19.