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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An unpublished document prepared for the White House...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An unpublished document prepared for the White House coronavirus task force and obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit newsroom, recommends that 18 states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: 292811

Reported Deaths: 6613
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19515228
Hinds18611385
Harrison16431275
Rankin12543261
Jackson12419216
Lee9641160
Madison9378194
Jones7857145
Forrest7094136
Lauderdale6760225
Lowndes5998137
Lamar581180
Lafayette5698113
Washington5135128
Bolivar4580120
Oktibbeha438691
Panola424992
Warren4101113
Pearl River4083128
Pontotoc406668
Marshall398392
Monroe3977126
Union392173
Neshoba3758166
Lincoln3447100
Hancock338673
Leflore3349118
Sunflower316685
Tate299874
Pike298293
Scott291867
Alcorn289660
Itawamba288571
Yazoo283262
Tippah275465
Copiah273957
Coahoma272666
Simpson270778
Prentiss267658
Leake251370
Wayne250540
Marion249878
Covington247178
Grenada244676
Adams232877
George229845
Newton223151
Winston220274
Tishomingo211465
Jasper211244
Attala205969
Chickasaw200550
Holmes181470
Clay177848
Stone171129
Tallahatchie169239
Clarke168271
Calhoun155527
Smith151531
Yalobusha142236
Greene126533
Walthall123340
Noxubee122629
Perry120934
Montgomery120537
Lawrence119021
Carroll117223
Amite110732
Webster109229
Jefferson Davis99931
Tunica98023
Claiborne97329
Benton92524
Humphreys91326
Kemper89422
Quitman76614
Franklin75419
Choctaw69416
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61027
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 490220

Reported Deaths: 9744
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson704661342
Mobile35810721
Madison32203443
Tuscaloosa23961409
Montgomery22417489
Shelby21773211
Baldwin19635272
Lee14883147
Morgan13571248
Etowah13118312
Calhoun13090283
Marshall11212203
Houston10036257
Limestone9321133
Elmore9313179
Cullman8864177
St. Clair8771220
Lauderdale8570210
DeKalb8419173
Talladega7450162
Walker6492249
Jackson6466102
Autauga617285
Blount6072125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5229100
Dale4614106
Russell401431
Franklin397675
Covington3948105
Chilton383196
Escambia376670
Tallapoosa3559139
Clarke342749
Dallas3396140
Chambers3393103
Pike292771
Lawrence281284
Marion280793
Winston245665
Bibb243759
Marengo238554
Geneva238468
Pickens223554
Barbour209550
Hale208464
Fayette199356
Butler195165
Henry182341
Cherokee176338
Monroe165638
Randolph162740
Washington156233
Crenshaw143353
Clay143254
Macon140543
Cleburne136539
Lamar131632
Lowndes130148
Wilcox120825
Bullock116534
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98231
Coosa86823
Greene86732
Choctaw54723
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