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Task force warns of 'further deterioration' as pandemic worsens

The White House coronavirus task force has again...

Posted: Nov 17, 2020 2:10 PM

The White House coronavirus task force has again ramped up its warnings to states in a weekly set of reports as the pandemic continues to aggressively worsen, raising alarms on the potential impact of rising cases on hospitals.

"There is now aggressive, unrelenting, expanding broad community spread across the country, reaching most counties, without evidence of improvement but rather, further deterioration. Current mitigation efforts are inadequate and must be increased to flatten the curve to sustain the health system for both Covid and non-Covid emergencies," state reports dated November 15 obtained by CNN said.

The language in the weekly reports, which offer the administration's most unvarnished picture of the pandemic, has become increasingly dire in recent weeks, matching the severity of the current situation as President Donald Trump remains silent on rising cases, focusing instead on positive vaccine developments in his only public event on the matter in a month last Friday.

Intensifying language

Reports shared with states over the summer months called for social distancing and face coverings, implementing contact tracing and closing bars and nightclubs in "red zone" states. In mid-September, reports reflected improvements in new case rates and test positivity. Reports in late October warned of "unrelenting, broad community spread in the Midwest, Upper Midwest, and West." By early November, reports said, "There is a continued increase in cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities nationally, spreading southward from the coldest climates as the population moves indoors and cases increase exponentially." And last week's reports suggested there was "accelerating community spread across the top half of the country" and "significant deterioration in the Sunbelt."

That language was also reflected in charts included with the reports mapping spread of new cases per 100,000 population across the US over the past several months, with isolated spread across the country six months ago, followed by worsening in the Southeast in July, worsening in the Midwest in October, and now, the entire nation essentially engulfed in the most recent chart.

North Dakota remains the state with the most cases per 100,000 population, followed by South Dakota, then Iowa, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas, and Montana. Hawaii is the state with the fewest cases per 100,000 population.

This week's reports also included a comparison to Europe, which is also experiencing, per the task force, "a fall surge similar to the USA."

Europe, however, is "showing early signs of improvement," the reports said, citing mask requirements in public settings, with most European countries imposing fines for non-compliance, as well as "significant restrictions on gathering size."

State by state

Tailored language in each state's report this week also intensified from previous weeks.

For instance, in New Mexico, the breadth and depth of community spread "is now threatening the health system," the task force said, calling for "significant behavioral change."

"The doubling of hospitalizations in the past 4 weeks is deeply concerning and not sustainable," New Mexico's report said.

In Wyoming, where there is "deeply concerning" acceleration in cases, the task force recommended "more intensive restrictions, such as temporary closures of bars and restaurants."

There is still no statewide mask mandate in Wyoming, to which the task force said, "The issuance of a statewide recommendation for facial covering communicates urgency. This is strongly advised."

In Tennessee, spread is "deepening and unyielding," noting that increases in hospitalizations and deaths "correlate with Halloween and related activities."

In Arkansas, the task force said it shares the "strong concern of Arkansas leaders that the current situation is worsening."

"Arkansas is on the precipice of a rapid, accelerating increase in cases which will be followed with new hospital admissions," the Arkansas report said, calling for compliance with public health orders, including mask usage.

In Maine, there is "continued acceleration of the epidemic," which, the task force said, warrants "increasing restrictions" including the recommendation that the state considers ways to enforce social distancing.

In Ohio, there has been a "full resurgence" in new cases with "an extremely rapid rise in hospitalizations in over 40 and over 70 year-old," the report said

In Maryland, the task force warns of an "accelerating surge in cases," with its highest daily number of new cases during the pandemic reported last week.

And in Wisconsin, there has been an "unrelenting rise" over two months and the "current situation is critical."

"Hospitalizations and deaths continued to increase setting new records every week; average daily deaths are seven-fold higher than in September," the Wisconsin report said.

Recommendations

Recommendations to each state also include suggestions for expanding proactive testing and contact tracing.

And as public health officials express concerns about small group gatherings with the Thanksgiving holiday next week, the task force warned states that the "upcoming holidays can amplify transmission considerably," calling for increased public health messaging.

The reports also expressed concern about university students returning home on break.

"On university campuses, students are letting their guards down with Thanksgiving break less than a week away. Message to students to continue their mitigation actions on and off campus to protect others and themselves. If they are going home, they should follow CDC holiday guidelines for protective behaviors," the reports said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 333626

Reported Deaths: 3843
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin700691145
Ramsey29459521
Dakota23564198
Anoka23541236
Washington14864125
Stearns14564125
St. Louis9549121
Scott896460
Wright847548
Olmsted714637
Sherburne618746
Clay529960
Carver509715
Kandiyohi440828
Rice432338
Blue Earth431217
Crow Wing383339
Otter Tail338925
Chisago334516
Benton322753
Nobles316032
Winona297832
Douglas283040
Mower274823
Polk271527
Morrison246731
McLeod233721
Lyon232812
Beltrami230718
Goodhue222932
Becker221521
Steele21038
Itasca206324
Isanti203917
Carlton201417
Todd190314
Nicollet172126
Mille Lacs164632
Freeborn16227
Le Sueur157012
Brown156115
Cass153511
Pine14498
Meeker144812
Waseca143411
Roseau13035
Martin124721
Hubbard119729
Wabasha11301
Redwood104620
Chippewa9808
Renville95530
Cottonwood9454
Dodge9311
Watonwan8944
Wadena8637
Sibley8404
Rock8249
Houston8004
Aitkin79930
Fillmore7690
Pipestone76518
Pennington7058
Yellow Medicine69612
Kanabec68614
Swift63610
Murray6124
Faribault6093
Pope5721
Clearwater55410
Marshall5459
Stevens5403
Jackson5321
Lake4518
Koochiching4216
Wilkin4175
Lac qui Parle4124
Lincoln3811
Unassigned38159
Norman3718
Big Stone3392
Mahnomen3225
Grant2986
Kittson2518
Red Lake2303
Traverse1531
Lake of the Woods1071
Cook800

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 237371

Reported Deaths: 2571
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk34873347
Linn14787169
Scott1184692
Black Hawk11288147
Woodbury10763137
Johnson985939
Dubuque947999
Story701924
Pottawattamie682474
Dallas661260
Sioux383829
Webster378339
Cerro Gordo373252
Marshall360950
Clinton345645
Buena Vista316614
Muscatine305172
Des Moines300623
Warren294115
Plymouth287044
Wapello265072
Jones237118
Jasper231546
Lee228719
Marion211922
Carroll204325
Bremer202713
Henry19367
Crawford183116
Benton175423
Tama157442
Jackson151117
Washington150216
Delaware147621
Dickinson145812
Boone144912
Mahaska133928
Wright13107
Clay12505
Buchanan123410
Hardin122812
Hamilton119514
Page11925
Kossuth11768
Clayton115510
Cedar114614
Harrison113432
Floyd111921
Mills11129
Calhoun10987
Fayette109812
Lyon10769
Butler10748
Winneshiek105513
Poweshiek103714
Iowa101414
Cherokee9674
Winnebago96325
Chickasaw9195
Hancock9138
Sac9068
Louisa90122
Grundy89514
Allamakee88413
Cass84725
Union8437
Mitchell8429
Appanoose81613
Humboldt8125
Shelby80511
Emmet79026
Guthrie78315
Franklin76421
Jefferson7635
Madison7265
Unassigned7090
Palo Alto6744
Keokuk6567
Pocahontas6024
Howard5859
Ida54915
Osceola5461
Greene5422
Montgomery51411
Clarke5064
Davis4839
Taylor4833
Monona4567
Adair4539
Monroe45113
Worth3881
Fremont3823
Van Buren3815
Decatur3410
Lucas3416
Audubon3112
Wayne3087
Ringgold2432
Adams1812
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