Task force report says 18 states in coronavirus 'red zone' should roll back reopening

An unpublished document prepared for the White House...

Posted: Jul 17, 2020 9:20 AM
Updated: Jul 17, 2020 10:30 AM

An unpublished document prepared for the White House coronavirus task force and obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit newsroom, recommends that 18 states in the coronavirus 'red zone' for cases should roll back reopening measures amid surging cases.

The 'red zone' is defined in the 359-page report as 'those core-based statistical areas (CBSAs) and counties that during the last week reported both new cases above 100 per 100,000 population, and a diagnostic test positivity result above 10%.'

The report outlines measures counties in the red zone should take. It encourages residents to 'wear a mask at all times outside the home and maintain physical distance.' And it recommends that public officials 'close bars and gyms' and 'limit social gatherings to 10 people or fewer,' which would mean rolling back reopening provisions in these places.

The report comes despite President Donald Trump's insistence that states reopen and a push to send the nation's children back to school, even as cases increase.

'Now we're open, and we want to stay open and we will stay open. We're not closing. We'll put out the fires as they come out,' Trump said at a White House event earlier this month.

The following 18 states are in the red zone for cases: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

The report says the following 11 states are in the red zone for test positivity: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, Washington. The 11 states in the red zone for test positivity are also in the red zone for cases, with the exception of Washington state.

One of the states that is in the red zone for both cases and test positivity, Georgia, is currently embroiled in a political fight with its largest city. Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp filed a lawsuit over Atlanta's Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms' mandate on masks in her city Thursday. He claimed it violated his emergency orders prohibiting local leaders from adding to the state's requirements to protect against coronavirus.

The task force report specifically includes a recommendation that Georgia 'mandate statewide wearing of cloth face coverings outside the home.'

Asked about the task force report, Bottoms told CNN she had not been in touch with the task force.

'I had not heard from them, but again, the people that I'm listening to are the scientists and our health care professionals,' she said during an appearance on CNN's 'New Day.'

Devin O'Malley, spokesman for Vice President Mike Pence and the task force, didn't dispute the document's authenticity, and claimed the report showed 'encouraging signs' amid the pandemic.

'When the vice president held a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing at HHS a few weeks ago, he reported that 16 states met the criteria for rising cases and rising positivity rate. As it stands in that report, there are only 10 states that fit that criteria. This is just one data point of many encouraging signs that we are seeing across the country as we continue to respond to the coronavirus pandemic,' O'Malley said in a statement.

Dr. Deborah Birx also said earlier this month that people living in states with coronavirus surges should return to the White House's original 'phase one' recommendations on gatherings.

Citing guidelines such as wearing face masks and avoiding bars and indoor events, Birx said those steps should be resumed in order to bring cases back under control.

She said they are 'asking the American people in those counties and in those states to not only use those face coverings, not going to bars, not going to indoor dining, but really not gathering in homes either. And decreasing those gatherings back down to our phase one recommendation, which was 10 or less.'

Birx touted the importance of mask-wearing and said 'any kind of indoor gathering' should be avoided in places experiencing a spike in cases.

Asked by CNN's Joe Johns about the document, counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway said: 'I think we see the surge in cases and we know where the hotspots are. We've been very upfront about that, we've published many documents.'

She said she didn't know about the document specifically but had read reports.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314710

Reported Deaths: 7254
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21646260
Hinds20369416
Harrison17949309
Rankin13643278
Jackson13450246
Madison10113217
Lee9986174
Jones8384163
Forrest7689152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6403148
Lamar623686
Lafayette6203119
Washington5341134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462998
Panola4596107
Pearl River4519146
Marshall4450103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420872
Monroe4115133
Union411176
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3969110
Hancock379586
Leflore3498125
Sunflower336290
Tate334784
Pike3327105
Scott316274
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311770
Itawamba300577
Copiah297465
Coahoma295579
Simpson295388
Tippah288768
Adams286982
Prentiss280060
Marion269380
Leake268473
Wayne262841
Grenada261587
Covington259881
George248148
Newton246862
Winston227581
Tishomingo227067
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208057
Holmes189174
Clay185554
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178941
Clarke178080
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164638
Smith162534
Walthall134245
Greene130633
Lawrence128724
Montgomery127142
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton100025
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67531
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 539829

Reported Deaths: 11038
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson798271529
Mobile41261809
Madison35132506
Tuscaloosa25915455
Shelby25294249
Montgomery24705593
Baldwin21392310
Lee15987172
Calhoun14569319
Morgan14422280
Etowah13918353
Marshall12275225
Houston10641282
Elmore10147206
Limestone10065151
St. Clair9946245
Cullman9761194
Lauderdale9457243
DeKalb8865188
Talladega8339176
Walker7260278
Autauga7001108
Jackson6836112
Blount6771139
Colbert6320135
Coffee5578118
Dale4876113
Russell445138
Chilton4369113
Franklin426282
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4044153
Escambia394777
Chambers3590123
Dallas3568153
Clarke351461
Marion3137101
Pike311977
Lawrence302698
Winston275773
Bibb264564
Geneva254078
Marengo249665
Pickens234862
Barbour232056
Hale223978
Butler219069
Fayette212662
Henry189643
Cherokee184645
Randolph182442
Monroe178141
Washington167739
Macon161150
Clay157157
Crenshaw153557
Cleburne149641
Lamar143236
Lowndes140553
Wilcox127430
Bullock123242
Conecuh110829
Coosa109228
Perry107826
Sumter104932
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
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