Thirty-two U.S. states are in the "red zone" for COVID-19 cases, meaning they've recorded more than 100 new cases per 100,000 residents in the last seven days. That's according to the most recent briefing by the White House coronavirus task force, dated Sunday and released Tuesday. It is compiled for the nation's governors but not officially released to the public. The briefing also indicated that 14 states are in the "orange zone" of between 51 and 100 new cases per 100,000 population. Four states and Washington D.C. are in the "yellow zone" signifying between 10 and 100 new cases per 100,000. Read on to see which states made the list, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
The 32 "red zone" states are, in order of national rank:
"Efforts must intensify," the task force told North Dakota, which leads the nation in cases and deaths per capita. "Both North and South Dakota have the highest percent of the population infected … and with the missed silent infections, 20% of the population may have been infected."
New daily record set
According to the New York Times, at least 90,446 cases were reported on Oct. 29, a record. The seven-day average of cases was 77,825, an increase of 42% from two weeks earlier.
On Thursday, the U.S. passed nine million coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic. At least 228,000 people have died.
"We've got a long road yet to go," said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, in an interview this week. "And as you see the cases just going up very steeply right now, we don't have the therapeutics and the vaccines in hand to say, 'this is not a problem.' It's a big problem. So we all have to take some responsibility even more than ever to try to implement those particular public health measures."
Mask wearing encouraged to stop spread
Health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, said this week that a national face mask mandate should be enacted to help stem the pandemic.
This month, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimated that U.S. deaths from coronavirus could surpass 394,000 by Feb. 1. But if mask-wearing is universal, 79,000 lives could be saved.
As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.