The White House coronavirus task force is warning this week that while there has been some progress in slowing the spread of the pandemic in the northern and central United States, cases are still surging in more populated states.
“Stabilization in the Northern Plains, Upper Midwest, and some Rocky Mountain and Heartland states is being offset by significant deterioration in more populous states (82% of the population),” reports sent to states by the task force and obtained by CNN said, echoing comments made by Dr. Deborah Birx during a call with the nation’s governors earlier this week.
The reports offered another week of bleak assessments, saying, “The fall surge is merging with the post-Thanksgiving surge to create a winter surge with the most rapid increase in cases; the widest spread, with more than 2,000 counties in COVID red zones; and the longest duration, now entering the 9th week, we have experienced.”
Despite that surge and a “threat to the hospital systems,” the task force warned that “many state and local governments are not implementing the same mitigation policies that stemmed the tide of the summer surge,” citing indoor gatherings at home and calling for a “significant reduction in capacity or closure in public and private indoor spaces, including restaurants and bars.”
Americans, the reports said, should “(understand) the clear risks of ANY family or friend interactions outside of their immediate household indoors without masks.” That behavior has not been modeled by the White House, however, amid dozens of indoor holiday parties over the past two weeks.
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