Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, offered some serious warnings Tuesday to states in the “yellow zone” defined by the task force for positive evidence and cases, which they say she are different from outbreaks across the country earlier this year.
In a call Tuesday with Vice President Mike Pence and several governors, he said there has been “significant improvement” in the “red zone” states of Florida, California, Texas and Arizona following orders to close bars, cut food indoors and require the use of masks The task force defines their “red zone” states as more than 100 cases per 100,000 people and more than 10% test positivity.
But he said there are still increasing cases and positive tests in other “red zone” states: Mississippi, Indiana, Tennessee, Virginia, Oklahoma, Georgia, Idaho and Arkansas.
Birx said “yellow zone” states, which the task force defines as having between 10 and 100 cases per 100,000 and 5-10% of test positivity, have had a similar profile to “red zone” states. : “Starting with the year 20 to 30 -old presents as a first wave.”
“Remember, most of them are asymptomatic, so if you expect to see hospitalizations, by the time you see hospitalization, the spread of your community is so widespread that it has entered an incredibly fast red state,” said Birx.
She said the task force is working with governors and mayors in the following places: Colorado, the District of Columbia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minneapolis, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, Ohio, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin .
The task force, Birx said, is talking to these places “about increasing mitigation efforts now because if we wait until the increase in hospitalizations it is really too late.” Because what we are experiencing now is really different from March and April, it is very different from the May outbreaks that were generally contained. This widespread community extended into the younger age group, both in rural and very urban and urban areas, so by the time you see it, up to 80-90% of your counties already have more than 10%. ”
Birx expressed concern about major metropolitan areas such as Chicago and Philadelphia, as well as the Central Valley of California, and applauded Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s mask mandate, which she says is having “significant impact.”
Pence reiterated that the administration does not want another closure, something, he said, “We do not want to see again,” but noted studies that show that the use of masks, closings of bars, limit outdoor food and limit social gatherings are having an effect similar to taking refuge earlier this year. He recommended that governors in the “yellow zone” states “carefully examine” those four measures “either by county or statewide.”
“We will support his decision, but I think his great message to these states that may be emerging is not to wait,” Pence said.