10 States Still At ‘Tipping Point,’ Per Brown University Covid-19 Tracker

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Texas, which just dropped its face mask mandate, is among the top 10 states with the highest number of new daily Covid cases. Brown School of Public Health “Please hear me clearly. At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have […]

“Please hear me clearly. At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained,” pleaded CDC director Rochelle Walensky yesterday during a White House press briefing, stressing that the U.S. is still reporting about 67,000 new Covid-19 cases per day and losing 2,000 American lives per day to the illness. 

“With these new statistics, I am really worried about reports that more states are rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from Covid-19,” said Walensky. “I understand the temptation to do this — 70,000 cases a day seems good compared to where we were just a few months ago — but we cannot be resigned to 70,000 cases a day, 2,000 daily deaths.”

One day later, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves joined a string of states dropping Covid-19 restrictions on businesses and ending their mask mandates.

While infections are down significantly from where they were during the great surge in early January, the CDC is warning Americns that the country is not out of the woods yet. The average number of new daily Covid cases is on par with the numbers we saw during the summer peak in mid-July.

One in five states is still “at a tipping point” for Covid-19 infections, according to the risk-assessment map run by the Brown School of Public Health. The color-coded map (top) provides an easy way for Americans to assess how quickly the disease is spreading in a state or county. Each state 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.

Based on the tracker’s latest data, 10 states — Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Connecticut, Florida and Texas — are in the red zone, which means they have 25 or more new positive Covid-19 cases every day per 100,000 people.

Most states in the U.S. are colored orange on the map, meaning they are over the threshold for allowing non-essential travel, according to public health officials. Orange 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 still experiencing an “accelerated spread” of Covid-19, per researchers.

U.S. health officials are particularly concerned about multiple variants of the novel coronavirus that have been documented in the United States. According to the CDC website, 46 states have reported cases of the B.1.1.7 variant that was first discovered in the United Kingdom. This variant spreads much faster than others, and is widespread in several states, including Florida, Michigan and California.

In addition, 17 states have reported cases of the B.1.351 variant that was first discovered in South Africa. This variant may reduce the antibodies elicited from some Covid-19 vaccines and has raised concerns that people who already had the disease could potentially get infected again from the new strain.

To date, more than 511,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus. A well-regarded model by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington is projects that the U.S. will add more than 60,000 deaths to that tally, reaching 574,000 Covid-19 deaths by June 1, 2021.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. More than 62 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered to Americans, according to the vaccine tracking dashboard from the Brown School of Public Health. That puts the United States well on its way to meet President Joe Biden’s goal of 100 million doses in his first 100 days in office.

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