White House Coronavirus Task Force Warns of ‘Community Spread Accelerating’

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“There is a continuing, accelerating community spread across the upper half of the country, where temperatures have cooled and Americans have moved inland,” according to reports dated Nov. 8 and distributed to states Tuesday night. .

The task force, which warned of “significant deterioration of the solar belt” in last week’s series of reports, said that deterioration only continued last week, “leading to the spread of the solar belt. most widespread known to date ”.

The task force’s weekly reports continue to provide an unvarnished look at the reality of each state’s current situation, as President Donald Trump and task force leader Mike Pence have refused to publicly address the issue. the worsening of the pandemic in a few weeks. The White House has repeatedly refused to make all reports accessible to the public.

In recommendations to several states, the working group called for an expansion of testing, especially to target asymptomatic cases.

“The silent community spread that precedes and continues during power surges can only be identified and interrupted by proactive and increased testing and monitoring,” reports for several states said, suggesting expanding antigen testing at the point of service.The reports said: “Proactive testing must be part of mitigation efforts, including mask wear, physical distancing, hand hygiene and immediate isolation, contact tracing and quarantine. ”

A report for New Mexico, where the task force said there was “a total and unrelenting spread by the community,” noted that requiring testing only for people with symptoms of Covid -19 “prevents adequate testing and control of the pandemic. ”

North Dakota remains the state with the highest number of new cases per 100,000 population, followed by South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, Illinois, ‘Utah and Minnesota in the top 10.

Vermont remains the state with the lowest number of cases and is one of only two states, including Hawaii, in the “yellow zone” defined by the working group for new cases, between 10 and 50 new cases. per 100,000 inhabitants. But Vermont was nonetheless warned in its report that there is “cause for concern given the continued rise in the state” coinciding with colder weather.

The Ohio report described “a vast and utter spread of the community” with “no evidence of improvement.”

In Delaware, where the cases disproportionately affect young adults between the ages of 20 and 35, the task force said, “We share the Delaware leadership’s assessment that the Covid epidemic is likely to spread. aggravate. ”

Some state reports reiterated the need to communicate “basic actions” that residents should take.

“Do not meet without a mask with people living outside your household”, “Always wear a mask in public places”, “Stop gatherings beyond the immediate household until cases and test for positivity are in the yellow zone “and” Get your flu shot “warn reports.

And, with the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, one state’s report highlighted the need to use a mask indoors.

“We need to protect those for whom we are grateful in our families and communities. Ensure indoor masking of vulnerable family members at any gathering due to the large amount of virus circulating and the high rate of asymptomatic and undiagnosed infections among family and community members ”, says the report.

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