Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:0
Data Map Shows 60% of US Counties Are Seeing An 'Uncontrollable Spread' of COVID-19 Cases
TEHRAN (FNA)- Sixty percent of counties across the United States are now seeing an uncontrollable spread of COVID-19 infections, a data map shows - as Health Adviser Dr Deborah Birx warned cases are "extraordinarily widespread" across the country.

The data map, which was compiled by spatial analytics company Esri, shows that almost every state across the country has at least one county experiencing an "epidemic trend", or uncontrollable spread, of coronavirus cases, Daily Mail reported.

Of the 3,141 US counties, 1,918 are currently experiencing an epidemic outbreak, according to the data. 

Every state has counties - 807 in total across the country - that are seeing spreading trends, which is an outbreak that could still be controlled if preventative measures are taken.  

Arizona, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, Delaware and Maryland are only seeing epidemic or spreading trends, the data shows. 

The only three states that do not have an uncontrollable spread are in the far Northeast, including Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. 

Currently, the number of infections across the country has surpassed 4.66 million and more than 154,000 Americans have died from the virus. 

Dr Deborah Birx, the head of the White House coronavirus task force, warned on Sunday that the US had reached a new phase of the outbreak with infections "extraordinarily widespread" in rural areas as well as cities.

As coronavirus cases continue to surge across much of the country, public health officials are trying to work with governors to tailor responses for each state. 

"We are in a new phase," Birx told CNN's State of the Union, adding, "What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread."

Birx warned that people living in multi-generational households in an area that is experiencing an outbreak should wear masks inside the home to protect the elderly or those with underlying conditions. 

She said federal officials have been working on individual reports for each state by examining community trends and hospital records. 

"Each of these responses have to be dramatically tailored," she said, adding that what she had witnessed visiting 14 states over the last three weeks gave her cause of concern.

"As I traveled around the country, I saw all of America moving," Birx said, adding, "If you have chosen to go on vacation into a hot spot, you really need to come back and protect those with comorbidities and assume you're infected."

Meanwhile, Admiral Brett Giroir, an assistant Health and Human Services secretary, continued to stress the importance of wearing masks. 

"If we don't do that, and if we don't limit the indoor crowded spaces, the virus will continue to run," he told NBC's Meet the Press.

"We are very concerned and this is a very serious point," he added.

"That's why we're going to all the states, we're on local radio, we give specific instructions to every governor by county, what they need to do when we start - when those counties start tipping yellow, because that's the time when you have to stamp it down," Giroir added.

The US recorded nearly 49,000 new infections on Sunday, which is down considerably from the daily average 60,000 over the past few weeks. 

The lower count was due, in part, to Texas not reporting cases due to system upgrades. The state is due to release the figures on Monday. 

The number of cases has been trending downwards after reaching daily peaks in mid-July in mostly Sunbelt states including Texas, Arizona, California and Florida. 

While daily cases in those hotspot states are showing signs of a decline, deaths appear to be increasing. 

Even though deaths are rising across the US, they remain well below levels seen in April when an average of 2,000 people a day were dying from the virus.  

Health experts have indicated the death toll may not be as bad this time around possibly because a large share of the current cases are younger people, who are less likely to die, and because of advances in treatment and knowledge of the virus. 

Deaths are a lagging indicator and can continue to rise weeks after new infections drop. A coronavirus death, when it occurs, typically comes several weeks after a person is first infected. 

The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicted in March that the pandemic could kill more than 81,000 people by July. 

In its latest statement in mid-July, the IHME said its model now projects the death toll at more than 224,000 by November 1. 

It said many fatalities could be avoided by preventative measures such as masks and social distancing.  





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