Planning to get away for the weekend? Choose your destination carefully.
A staggering 21 states are now “at a tipping point” for Covid-19, according to the risk-assessment map run by the Harvard Global Health Institute and Brown School of Public Health. The number of high-risk states has more than doubled — from 10 to 21 — in just three weeks.
Yesterday, the United States recorded 71,671 new positive Covid-19 cases, very close to a pandemic record, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That level of infection is on par with what the country saw back in mid-July, during the major summer surge of the virus in the U.S.
The risk-assessment tool run by Harvard Global Health Institute and Brown School of Public Health is an essential travel tool, particularly for imminent trips. The color-coded map provides an easy way for Americans to assess how quickly the disease is spreading in a specific state or county. Each community has a rating of green, yellow, orange or red, based upon the number of new daily cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people over a seven-day rolling average.
States that are colored red on the map have recorded 25 or more new positive Covid-19 cases every day per 100,000 people, based on a rolling seven-day average. That level of spread is unsustainable strain and states should be under stay-at-home orders, according to the Harvard and Brown researchers.
Since Labor Day weekend, North Dakota has been the epicenter of coronavirus in the United States. Over the past six weeks, the Roughrider State’s caseload has increased by a staggering 205%, from 32.1 to 98.7 new daily cases per 100,000 people.
The rest of the top 10 high-risk states span across the heartland and Mountain West, including South Dakota (78.0 new cases/100K), Wisconsin (61.6 cases/100K), Montana (60.2 cases/100K), Idaho (46.1 cases/100K), Nebraska (43.0 cases/100K), Wyoming (41.0 cases/100K), Utah (40.8 cases/100K), Iowa(35.3 cases/100K) and Missouri (32.8 cases/100K).
An additional 21 states are colored orange on the map, which signifies that the community has 10 or more new daily positive Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day rolling average. These states are experiencing an “accelerated spread” of Covid-19, with “stay-at-home orders and/or test and trace programs advised,” according to the Harvard and Brown researchers.
Only eight states — all of them located in the Northeast and Pacific West — are colored yellow on the Harvard-Brown map. Yellow means there is fewer than 10 new cases of Covid-19 each day per 100,000 people, which still signifies community spread.
Unfortunately, no state is in the green zone, which would mean fewer than one new daily case per 100,000 people. That metric would signify that the disease is “on track for containment,” according to the researchers.