(WDHN) — Its the third summer of dealing with COVID-19 and although its been on a decline compared to previous years, its not a time to get too relaxed.

“COVID is still here and its not going to go away,” Dr. Karen Landers said. “We still have a lot of COVID cases as you know we still have high levels of community transmission in parts of the state and high overall community levels in parts of the state.”

The latest update shows all five Wiregrass counties in red with a high community level which measures case rates, staffed hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients and new hospitalization rates.

Although the CDC is doing away with mandates and loosened some of their restrictive guidelines like quarantining and social distancing, the ADPH is still recommending you at least mask up in high community levels.

“Inside its a good idea to where a mask not everybody is gonna choose to but mask work,” She said.

As we’re shifting back to more of a normal lifestyle and into the fall season, a time for large gatherings like holidays and stadium filled sporting events, Dr. Landers said you should think about making wise decisions like keeping a little personal space and possibly even masking up outside.

“If you’re packed in a stadium and you have a suppressive condition or a health problem that will put you at risk for COVID especially if you’re not vaccinated outside wearing a mask is reasonable,” Dr. Landers said.

But she believes the best shot of protection remains getting the vaccine — its now more widely available than ever before as those 6 months of age or older can get vaccinated.

Dr. Landers also suggests you acquire some take home tests for COVID-19 to test yourself if you’re feeling sick.