WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – An unpublished document prepared for the White House Coronavirus task force said that at least 18 states, including Kansas, should cancel reopening measures amid the surge in coronavirus cases.
According to the document obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah are in the “red zone” for the increase in COVID-19 cases.
A “red zone”, according to the 359-page report, is defined as “the statistical zones and central counties (CBSA) which, in the past week, have reported both new cases greater than 100 per 100,000 inhabitants and a diagnostic test positivity result greater than 10%. ”
Of the 18 “red zone” states, ten, plus Washington State, are also in the red zone to test for positivity. They include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina and Texas.
According to the report, Kansas has seen an increase in new cases and an increase in test positivity over the past week. Johnson, Sedgwick and Wyandotte counties, which account for 58.7% of new cases in Kansas, have had the highest number of new cases in the past three weeks.
Report says counties identified as “red areas” should wear “outside the house” mask at all times, close all bars in all counties with positive test percentage, increase outdoor dining opportunities , reduce dining in the dining room to 25% and limit social gatherings to 10 people or less.
The report also called on Kansas to expand testing and increase the spread of the risk of serious illness in all age groups with pre-existing medical conditions, including obesity, hypertension and diabetes mellitus.
Dr. Anthony Fauci told Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that he thought some states had tried to speed up the reopening process and are now paying for it.
“People keep talking about the possibility of a second wave in the fall. It is a historical terminology linked to another era and another epidemic. I think we have to focus on where we are right now, because if you’re talking about waves, we’re really essentially still in the first wave when you have up to 70,000 new infections in certain parts of the country. This is something you need to focus on now rather than looking ahead to what will happen in September or October, “said Dr Fauci.
As of Friday, 21,965 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Kansas.
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