Coronavirus and Inequality

Published — November 17, 2020

47 states and DC are now in the red zone for coronavirus cases

Volunteer Sean Armstrong, left, hands off bagged give away turkeys to volunteer Nina Norwood at Harlem's Food Bank For New York City, a community kitchen and food pantry, Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

White House task force recommends small, household-only holiday celebrations.


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All but three states are now in the red zone for new coronavirus cases, according to new White House coronavirus task force reports. 

“There is now aggressive, unrelenting, expanding broad community spread across the country, reaching most counties, without evidence of improvement but rather, further deterioration,” the task force told governors in its Nov. 15 reports. “Current mitigation efforts are inadequate and must be increased to flatten the curve to sustain the health system for both COVID and non-COVID emergencies.”

Hawaii, Maine and Vermont are the only states not in the red zone for cases, meaning they had fewer than 101 new cases last week per 100,000 residents. More than half of states are also now in the White House’s red zones for test positivity and deaths.

The Nov. 15 reports from the White House Coronavirus Task Force included a ranking of states based on their rates of new cases per population. (Screenshot of report)

The task force continued its push for more antigen testing and also urged states to beef up their warnings to the public prior to Thanksgiving.

“The upcoming holidays can amplify transmission considerably,” the task force told Washington state. “Washington should continue to expand public health messaging across all media platforms, including SMS auto-texting, to warn citizens about the risks of social gatherings.”

The task force told multiple states they should urge people to celebrate holidays only with members of their own household.

The reports to governors and senior state health officials are not made public. The Center for Public Integrity is collecting and publishing them.

The states in the red zone for cases in this week’s report (meaning they had more than 100 new cases per 100,000 residents in the week prior):

  1. North Dakota
  2. South Dakota
  3. Iowa
  4. Wyoming
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Nebraska
  7. Illinois
  8. Minnesota
  9. Kansas
  10. Montana
  11. Utah
  12. Indiana
  13. Colorado
  14. Alaska
  15. Idaho
  16. Rhode Island
  17. Missouri
  18. Michigan
  19. New Mexico
  20. Tennessee
  21. Oklahoma
  22. Arkansas
  23. Ohio
  24. Kentucky
  25. Nevada
  26. Connecticut
  27. West Virginia
  28. Mississippi
  29. Pennsylvania
  30. New Jersey
  31. Massachusetts
  32. Alabama
  33. Texas
  34. Arizona
  35. Delaware
  36. South Carolina
  37. Florida
  38. Louisiana
  39. Maryland
  40. North Carolina
  41. Washington
  42. Oregon
  43. New York
  44. New Hampshire
  45. California
  46. District of Columbia
  47. Virginia
  48. Georgia

The states in the red zone for test positivity in this week’s report (meaning more than 10 percent of tests in the state were positive in the week prior):

  1. Montana
  2. Idaho
  3. Iowa
  4. Nebraska
  5. Kansas
  6. South Dakota
  7. Missouri
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Utah
  11. North Dakota
  12. Minnesota
  13. Nevada
  14. Illinois
  15. New Mexico
  16. Indiana
  17. Tennessee
  18. Michigan
  19. Mississippi
  20. Kentucky
  21. Colorado
  22. Texas
  23. Wyoming
  24. Alabama
  25. Alaska
  26. South Carolina
  27. Arkansas
  28. Ohio

The states in the red zone for deaths (meaning they had more than more than two new deaths per 100,000 residents in the week prior): 

  1. North Dakota
  2. South Dakota
  3. Montana
  4. Wisconsin
  5. New Mexico
  6. Indiana
  7. Tennessee
  8. West Virginia
  9. Michigan
  10. Iowa
  11. Idaho
  12. Wyoming
  13. Nebraska
  14. Missouri
  15. Alabama
  16. Minnesota
  17. Illinois
  18. Mississippi
  19. Kansas
  20. Arkansas
  21. Rhode Island
  22. Texas
  23. Georgia
  24. Pennsylvania
  25. Kentucky
  26. Massachusetts
  27. Colorado
  28. Louisiana

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