(WHNT) — Folks in almost half of Alabama’s 67 counties should be wearing a mask when they go out in public, according to the latest data from the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

ADPH’s COVID-19 Dashboard shows 28 counties labeled in the high level for community spread of the virus.

When an Alabama county is labeled in the high community-level category, that means it must meet these guidelines:

  • For fewer than 200 cases per 100,000 people in the last week, new admissions must be 20% or higher, or the percentage of staff inpatient beds occupied by patients must exceed 15%
  • For more than 200 cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days, new admissions must exceed 10% or more, or the percentage of staff inpatient beds occupied by patients has to be more than 10%

Guidance posted by Dr. Wes Stubblefield earlier this year states anyone living in a county in the high level should be wearing a mask indoors in public, staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, and getting tested when you have symptoms.

Stubblefield wrote that those with a high risk for severe illness should take even more precautions.

The following counties are listed in the high level as of July 7, 2022:

  • Autauga, Baldwin, Barbour, Bibb, Butler, Calhoun, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Cullman, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Jefferson, Lamar, Limestone, Madison, Mobile, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Russell, Shelby, St. Clair, Walker, Washington

All other Alabama counties were labeled in either the medium or low community level categories.

This week, WKRG reported that Mobile County Health Officer Dr. Kevin Michaels is now recommending a return to masking in all public indoor places.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, those in the high community level should “wear a mask with the best fit, protection, and comfort for you.”

To learn more about proper masking and how it relates to COVID-19, visit cdc.gov.