A COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Bay Cities FC community appreciation event on June 19, 2021 at Sequoia High School, Redwood City, Calif. (Photo courtesy of Don Kianian/Bay Cities FC)

San Mateo County has moved to the “low” or “green” COVID-19 community level this week, which means case rates and hospitalizations in the county are on the downswing.

The move to the lower tier, which was made Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, does not mean the end of the pandemic for the county.

Overall, according to county health officials, COVID-19 cases, fueled by the Omicron variant, remain high compared with previous periods and local health officials continue to recommend caution.

In the Bay Area, Marin, Sonoma, San Francisco and Alameda counties are also in the low or green community level.

The CDC lists “community levels” for jurisdictions across the country as a way for individuals and officials to decide prevention strategies based on the latest information.

To move to the low COVID-19 community level, San Mateo County had to meet certain metrics set by the CDC, including fewer than 10 new COVID-19 hospital admissions weekly per 100,000 residents. The county’s most recent rate was 8.7.

COVID-19 case rates must also fall below 200 over the past seven days; the most recent case rate is 185.63 for San Mateo County.

San Mateo County Health Department officials recommend being up to date with vaccinations and boosters, getting tested if you have symptoms and wearing high-quality masks — such as N95 or KN95 — in settings where ventilation is poor or if a person is at high risk for severe disease or illness.