Your Risk of Contracting Coronavirus Is Highest in These Two States

New data tracks which states are riskiest and how your state, and even county, ranks in comparison.

With the constant barrage of coronavirus news and data to sift through, it can be overwhelming and difficult to make sense of it all. How do you know what information is most accurate and important for you to know in order to keep yourself and those around you safe during the ongoing pandemic? A new interactive map developed by a network of top research, policy and public health experts, tracks where in the country coronavirus outbreaks are most severe. And according to the data, the two states where you are at the highest risk of being exposed are Florida and Arizona.

Developed by Harvard Global Health Institute in collaboration with CovidActNow, Covid-Local, and several other vetted sources, the map aims to assess the risk of being infected by coronavirus and provide "suppression guidance" for containing it. States are color-coded based on their risk level, which is determined by the number of new daily cases per 100,000 people. Green means there is less than one new case per 100,000 people a day and the state is "on track for containment"; yellow indicates between 1 and 9 new cases per 100,000 people and the presence of "community spread"; orange represents an "accelerated spread" and that there are 10 to 24 new cases per 100,000 a day; and red indicates the state is at a "tipping point," with 25 or more new daily cases per 100,000 people.

U.S coronavirus risk map
Harvard Global Health Institute/Microsoft AI/Screenshot by Best Life

Per the last set of data, Florida and Arizona are the only two states in red, reporting rolling seven-day averages of 30.1 and 39.1 daily new cases per 100,000 people, respectively. Arizona has a total of 73,908 cases, while Florida's tally is an even more alarming 141,075. In addition to showing the extent of the outbreak, the team behind the risk level map provide necessary actions states need to take based on what color they have been categorized with. In Florida and Arizona's case, that means "stay-at-home orders are necessary."

The accessibility and straightforward nature of the map, which also provides the same information and coding system at the country level, will help get people more on the same page in what we're actually dealing with and how to stop it, its developers hope.

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"The public needs clear and consistent information about COVID risk levels in different jurisdictions for personal decision-making, and policy-makers need clear and consistent visibility that permits differentiating policy across jurisdictions," Danielle Allen, director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, said in a statement. "We also collectively need to keep focused on what should be our main target: a path to near zero case incidence." And for more on how the country is responding to the coronavirus, check out More Than Half of States Are Ignoring This One Pivotal CDC Guideline.

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