COVID-19 continues to ravage the United States as it shatters new daily records for case numbers every day. Despite this news, some states began efforts to lift quarantine measures. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report to 18 states to stop reopening. The CDC states that these states are in the “red zone.”
Are You in a Red Zone?
Gizmodo reports that the CDC released the internal document on the red zones. If you want to know if you live in a red zone, take a look at the CDC criteria. Your state or county must have reported over 100 new cases per 100,000 people. Likewise, your state or county must show positive results “above 10%.”
Using these criteria, the CDC filed these states in the red zone:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Moreover, these 11 states recorded a positivity rate above 10%:
- South Carolina
If you’re in these states, the CDC urges you to “wear a mask at all times outside the home.” Besides, you should also keep your distance from others. Local governments should also close down public places like gyms and bars. Likewise, they should also ban gatherings of 10 people or more.
Unreleased coronavirus task force report shows 18 states are in the 'red zone'https://t.co/YE8MJ3JicR
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) July 18, 2020
Why Are Cases So High in the Red Zones?
The states in the red zones defied CDC warnings. Rushing to return to normal, their governments opened everything back up. This rush triggered a wave of cases. For example, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp orderedcities and counties not to require people to wear masks, even suing mayors for defying him. He also exempted schools “from bans on gatherings.”
US President Donald Trump has also said that he will never shut down the US again. He has also accused the CDC of lying about the pandemic “to hurt him politically.” Further, he continues to demand schools reopen while ignoring all CDC safety policies.
What’s So Wrong About the Red Zone?
Test positivity rates above 10% are a bad sign. Jessica Malaty Rivera said this number means places are failing to control the outbreak. Rivera is the science communication lead of The Atlantic’s COVID Tracking Project. She said that the target rate should be “below 3 percent.”
If you’re in the red zone, you will lose nothing from following CDC guidelines. You’ll be keeping yourself and others safe from the raging pandemic.