community spread

noun

variants or community transmission
: the spread of a contagious disease within a community
specifically : the spread of a contagious disease to individuals in a particular geographic location who have no known contact with other infected individuals or who have not recently traveled to an area where the disease has any documented cases
Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, who is the top coronavirus expert in the country, said community spread made it almost impossible to predict how many cases there will be. Megan Sheets and Emily Crane
… a 50-year-old New Rochelle man became the first known person in New York to contract the virus through community spread. Jon Campbell
In areas where community transmission is high, schools may be closed and businesses may ask employees to work from home. Melissa Healy

Examples of community spread in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The coming respiratory-virus season will be the country’s first after the end of the public-health emergency—its first, since the arrival of COVID, without crisis-caliber funding set aside, routine tracking of community spread, and health-care precautions already in place. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 6 Sep. 2023 Area health systems reported more than 700 COVID-19 hospitalizations just over a year ago, causing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to designate Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton counties as areas with high community spread of the virus. Marin Wolf, Dallas News, 25 Aug. 2023 Cases had already become a less reliable way to track community spread as people switched to home testing and infections went unreported to health authorities. Brenda Goodman, CNN, 28 Apr. 2023 Without records of community spread, officials are using hospitalizations and wastewater to track the virus. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Aug. 2023 With the end of the public health emergency, the CDC also stopped tracking community spread of the disease. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Aug. 2023 Just over a year ago, North Texas health systems saw more than 700 COVID-19 hospitalizations, causing the CDC to designate Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton counties as areas with high community spread of the virus. Marin Wolf, Dallas News, 4 Aug. 2023 In May, the CDC stopped tracking community spread of Covid-19, and both the World Health Organization and United States ended their public health emergency designations around the same time. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 June 2023 One patient had no international travel history, suggesting that there is some community spread in the US. Jen Christensen, CNN, 11 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'community spread.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1903, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of community spread was in 1903

Dictionary Entries Near community spread

Cite this Entry

“Community spread.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/community%20spread. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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