Is Your State in a Federal “Red Zone” for COVID-19 Outbreaks?

New documents released by the government but not made public indicate that certain states are in “red zones” based on their number of new coronavirus cases. 

What is a red zone?

A red zone is defined as an area in which there are close to 100 new cases per 100,000 people in the last week. Red zones are divided by county as well, but the 21 states that are currently on this list are Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. 

Missouri, North Dakota, and Wisconsin are new additions to the list since the last federal report in mid-July. 

There is only one state in the “green” zone, meaning that there is fewer than one case per 100,000 people in a week:  Vermont. From one to 9 new cases daily per 100,000 indicates yellow, between 10 and 24 is orange, and 25 and up is red. 

The federal reports call for restrictions in those red zone states, which in many cases are not being put into place. 

Dr. Birx recommends that states undergoing coronavirus surges should return to Phase 1. 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 [be] gathering in homes either. And decreasing those gatherings back down to our phase one recommendation, which was 10 or less.”

Restrictions up to governors

Since these decisions are up to the individual state governors, many states have not implemented mask wearing. In Georgia, which is in the red zone, Governor Brian Kemp and Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms are in a legal battle over the mayor mandating masks in her city. Governor Kemp claimed her mandate violated his emergency order prohibiting local mayors from adding to the state’s requirements.  

See how your county is doing – view this map from the Harvard Global Health Institute and click on your county. 

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