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Dr. Birx slams the lack of mask usage in North Dakota, where Covid-19 is soaring

Dr. Deborah Birx, who is on the White House coronavirus task force, says that indoor gatherings as the weather gets colder are driving the recent increase in coronavirus cases.

Posted: Oct 25, 2020 11:31 AM
Updated: Oct 27, 2020 12:15 PM


If you're in a coronavirus hotspot, watch out -- Dr. Deborah Birx might be visiting and reinforcing some sharp lessons.

The White House coronavirus task force coordinator has been traveling across the country in recent weeks, meeting with state and local officials as the fall Covid-19 surge grips all regions of the country.

North Dakota had the highest rate of new cases in the US in the most recent task force report for the state, dated October 18. And during her visit to North Dakota on Monday, Birx slammed the inadequate mask usage in the state.

'Over the last 24 hours, as we were here and we were in your grocery stores and in your restaurants, and frankly even in your hotels, this is the least use of masks that we have we seen in retail establishments of any place we have been,' Birx told local reporters, according to The Bismarck Tribune.

'And we find that deeply unfortunate because you don't know who's infected, and you don't know if you're infected yourself.'

North Dakota is one of 15 states that does not have a mask mandate.

Health experts from across party lines have said wearing face masks is one of the easiest ways to help keep the economy open.

And If 95% of Americans wore masks in public, more than 100,000 American lives could be saved through February, according projections Friday from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

'When you look at the states and when they implemented a mask mandate and you look at their cases per million and you look at their fatalities per million, they are lower than states that chose to recommend masks but not to mandate,' Birx said, according to the Bismarck Tribune.

Masks are especially important now, as cooler weather leads to more people socializing indoors -- where coronavirus can spread more easily.

'People let down their guard when they were with friends and family, and they took off their masks, and they share dinner, or they share drinks inside, and those become spreading events,' Birx said earlier this month during a visit to Massachusetts.

Most states are headed in the wrong direction with new Covid-19 infections.

As of Tuesday, 37 states had at least 10% more new cases this past week compared to the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Only one state, Washington, had a decrease of at least 10%. The remaining 12 states are relatively steady.

Track the virus in your state and across the US

The nationwide surge isn't just due to more testing -- in fact, the increase in Covid-19 cases far outpaces the increase in testing.

The average number of daily new cases this past week is up 20% compared to the previous week, according to Johns Hopkins.

But testing has increased only 3.64% over the same time frame, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 338973

Reported Deaths: 3904
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin711921153
Ramsey29902526
Dakota23961202
Anoka23888238
Washington15094125
Stearns14679126
St. Louis9771126
Scott909461
Wright864248
Olmsted723237
Sherburne627247
Clay535562
Carver519215
Kandiyohi450430
Rice438439
Blue Earth436217
Crow Wing389540
Otter Tail346426
Chisago338117
Benton326356
Nobles317134
Winona300632
Douglas288241
Mower279123
Polk275229
Morrison251531
McLeod240121
Lyon236312
Beltrami234518
Goodhue226333
Becker224721
Steele21478
Itasca210624
Isanti206919
Carlton205618
Todd191714
Nicollet174926
Mille Lacs166034
Freeborn16517
Le Sueur160612
Brown158915
Cass154712
Meeker149012
Pine14838
Waseca145311
Roseau13357
Martin127322
Hubbard121329
Wabasha11431
Redwood106620
Chippewa9999
Renville98630
Cottonwood9674
Dodge9401
Watonwan9184
Wadena8797
Sibley8484
Rock84710
Houston8134
Aitkin81030
Fillmore7780
Pipestone77718
Pennington7339
Yellow Medicine71612
Kanabec70914
Swift65610
Murray6265
Faribault6223
Pope5811
Clearwater56510
Marshall55010
Jackson5461
Stevens5444
Lake4578
Wilkin4325
Koochiching4286
Lac qui Parle4254
Unassigned41659
Lincoln3901
Norman3758
Big Stone3482
Mahnomen3255
Grant3066
Kittson2589
Red Lake2363
Traverse1592
Lake of the Woods1091
Cook830

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 240163

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk35388352
Linn14908170
Scott1196795
Black Hawk11350149
Woodbury10820140
Johnson993840
Dubuque9547100
Story707625
Pottawattamie692676
Dallas669860
Sioux386929
Webster381739
Cerro Gordo375552
Marshall363551
Clinton351046
Buena Vista318814
Muscatine311672
Des Moines306323
Warren300617
Plymouth293845
Wapello269872
Jones238419
Jasper233346
Lee231621
Marion215324
Carroll206426
Bremer204113
Henry19718
Crawford184316
Benton176923
Tama158042
Jackson152717
Washington152116
Delaware149022
Boone148012
Dickinson146312
Mahaska136028
Wright13297
Clay12806
Buchanan125110
Hardin124512
Hamilton120715
Kossuth12009
Page11995
Clayton117610
Cedar116014
Harrison114932
Floyd112923
Mills112210
Fayette111812
Calhoun11027
Winneshiek109714
Butler108511
Lyon108210
Poweshiek104314
Iowa102014
Cherokee9784
Winnebago96625
Hancock9308
Chickasaw9246
Sac9189
Allamakee91213
Louisa90822
Grundy90014
Union8668
Cass86126
Mitchell84610
Appanoose83414
Humboldt8286
Shelby81514
Guthrie80115
Emmet79426
Jefferson7766
Franklin76821
Madison7585
Unassigned7230
Palo Alto6795
Keokuk6718
Pocahontas6064
Howard5889
Ida56016
Osceola5512
Greene5472
Montgomery53111
Clarke5144
Davis50011
Taylor4823
Adair47210
Monroe46913
Monona4648
Worth3901
Fremont3883
Van Buren3845
Lucas3536
Decatur3460
Audubon3122
Wayne3097
Ringgold2512
Adams1882
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