Threat Levels Explained
The Harris County Reopening Strategy advises four levels of transmission, including Level 1 - Severe (red), Level 2 - Significant (orange), Level 3 - Moderate (yellow), and Level 4 - Minimal (green). In addition to these, actions residents are encouraged to follow fall into Stay Home (red), Minimize ALL Contacts (orange), Stay Vigilant (yellow), and Resume Normal Contacts (green).
Level 1: Stay Home
Level 1 signifies a severe and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning outbreaks are present and worsening and that testing and contact tracing capacity is strained or exceeded. At this level, residents take action to minimize contacts with others wherever possible and avoid leaving home except for the most essential needs like going to the grocery store for food and medicine.
Level 2: Minimize ALL Contacts
Level 2 signifies a significant and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning that there is ongoing transmission of the virus and that testing and contact tracing capacity is likely sufficient to meet demand. At this level, residents should minimize contact with others, avoiding any medium or large gatherings, and only visiting permissible businesses that follow public health guidance.
Level 3: Stay Vigilant
Level 3 signifies a moderate, but controlled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning a demonstrated reduction in transmission and the local healthcare system is within capacity. Residents should remain vigilant, but resume contact with others and resume leaving home.
Level 4: Resume Normal Activity
Level 4 signifies a minimal and controlled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning new chains of transmission are limited and quickly broken or a vaccine and/or treatment has been developed and widely deployed. At this level, residents may resume normal contact with others unless sick.
For a complete list of indicators and more detailed descriptions of each level of the Reopening Strategy and benchmarks, see the Leading Harris County: Benchmarks for a Healthy Community guide.