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These 26 States in COVID 'Red Zone,' Says Task Force

And coronavirus rates aren't declining anywhere.
A woman wearing a face mask in the city coughing.

Twenty-six U.S. states are in the "red zone" for coronavirus spread, meaning they've seen more than 100 new cases per 100,000 residents in the last seven days.

That's according to the most recent briefing by the White House coronavirus task force, which is done for the nation's governors but not officially released to the public. 

It's an increase from 24 "red zone" states last week, and 22 the week prior. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

7-day average highest since August

The Oct. 11 briefing also indicated that 19 states and Washington, D.C. are in the "orange zone," signifying between 51 and 100 new cases per 100,000 population. Five states are in the "yellow zone," or between 10 and 100 new cases per 100,000. The nation's only state to be in the "green zone" last week—Vermont—moved into the yellow zone this week.

The 26 "red zone" states are:

  • North Dakota,
  • South Dakota,
  • Montana,
  • Wisconsin,
  • Utah,
  • Idaho,
  • Iowa,
  • Wyoming,
  • Oklahoma,
  • Tennessee,
  • Arkansas,
  • Kentucky,
  • Kansas,
  • Nebraska,
  • Missouri,
  • Alaska,
  • Minnesota,
  • Mississippi,
  • Alabama,
  • Indiana,
  • South Carolina,
  • Illinois,
  • North Carolina,
  • Rhode Island,
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico.

Health officials have warned of a potential surge in coronavirus cases this fall and winter, as cooler weather brings people indoors, where the virus is more easily transmitted.

The nation reported more than 52,000 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, more than five times higher than the 10,000 daily cases top health officials say would be an acceptable maximum for this time of year.

According to the COVID Tracking Project, the seven-day moving average of cases was 51,038 on Tuesday, the highest since mid-August. The number of hospitalizations was 36,034, the highest since Aug. 29 but lower than July's peak of more than 59,000.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Monday that he hoped the numbers "jolt the American public into a realization that we really can't let this happen, because it's on a trajectory of getting worse and worse."

RELATED: 11 Symptoms of COVID You Never Want to Get

How to stay healthy

The rising case rate is "the worst possible thing that could happen as we get into the cooler months," he added. "If there's anything we should be doing, we should be doubling down in implementing the public health measures that we've been talking about for so long, which are keeping a distance, no crowds, wearing masks, washing hands, doing things outside as opposed to inside, in order to get those numbers down," he said.

COVID-19 has killed more than 216,000 Americans since the start of the pandemic. More than 7.8 million cases have been reported overall, with more than 3.1 million recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates that U.S. deaths could surpass 394,000 by Feb. 1, but if face mask-wearing became universal, 79,000 lives could be saved.

As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear your face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

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