11 COVID Hotspots That Need to Get "Aggressive"

The White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator is warning these cities to control their outbreaks now.

There is no question that the coronavirus continues to rage across the country. According to The New York Times, nearly 80 percent of states in the U.S. are currently seeing new COVID-19 cases increase from the previous week. A White House document that leaked on July 16 revealed that 18 states are in what they call the "red zone" because they had more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people in a week. Now, a new report has emerged that Deborah Birx, MD, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, privately warned a handful of major U.S. cities that they need to get their outbreaks under control and get "aggressive." According to the report from the Center for Public Integrity, which also leaked the previous White House document, Birx identified 11 COVID hotspots as places that need to get their outbreaks under control in a private phone call with state and local leaders on July 22.

"This is really critical that everybody is following this and making sure they're being aggressive about mitigation efforts," she said on the call. Though the Center for Public Integrity report does not provide specifics on what these "aggressive" actions should be, the leaked White House document recommended that public officials in "red zones" do the following: Close bars and gyms, limit social gatherings to 10 people or fewer, mandate masks for businesses that do remain open, recruit more contact tracers, provide isolation facilities for COVID-positive individuals who can't quarantine at home, and institute pool testing, among other suggestions.

Now, read on to find out the COVID hotspots Birx is sending warnings to. And for more states that medical experts say need to lock down again, check out 11 States Where Locking Down Again Is Absolutely Necessary.

Baltimore, Maryland


According to The New York Times data, the number of new COVID cases daily in Baltimore has nearly doubled in the past two weeks from 11 new cases per 100,000 people to 22. Daily COVID-19-related deaths in the city, however, continue to trend downwards. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Cleveland, Ohio

cleveland ohio skyline

Recent outbreaks in the state of Ohio led Gov. Mike DeWine to issue a statewide mandatory mask order on July 22. Part of the spike is in Cleveland specifically, and the surrounding Cuyahoga County area. On July 22, Cleveland reported 70 new COVID cases, bringing its total to 3,812. And for more states that have made masks mandatory as of late, check out These 4 States Just Made Face Masks Mandatory.

Columbus, Ohio

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Franklin County, where the Ohio state capital is found, has seen new COVID cases almost quadruple since June, according to state-reported data. There were 96 new cases in Franklin County on June 1 and the county peaked at 361 new cases on July 13. However, new cases appear to be decreasing in recent days. And for other areas of concern, check out The Biggest Coronavirus Hotspot No One Is Talking About.

Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA downtown cityscape on the White River at dusk.

According to Johns Hopkins' coronavirus database, new cases in Indianapolis peaked on July 17 at 913, which is more than triple the 300 cases reported on July 6. For more on the state of Indiana, check out 10 States That Were "Irresponsible" About Coronavirus, Study Says.

Las Vegas, Nevada

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Sin City saw 1,129 new COVID cases reported on July 21, which is about 3.5 times higher than the new 330 cases on June 21, according to publicly available data. And for more on Nevada's current state, find it among the 9 States Where COVID Cases Are Rising Faster Than California and Texas.

Miami, Florida

miami florida skyline

On July 21, Miami-Dade County reported 2,788 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to Florida's Department of Health. The county has now surpassed 90,000 total confirmed cases. That's almost double the number of cases the entire state of Washington has seen since the pandemic began. And for more on Washington, check out 95 Percent of People in These States Are Still "Very Vulnerable" to COVID.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

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According to data published by the city, Minneapolis is currently seeing a rise in new COVID cases, though numbers from the past seven days are not reported. On July 14, there were 100 new cases. By comparison, there were only 10 reported on June 14. To learn more about how these numbers are reported, check out 10 Places Where COVID Numbers Are Much Higher Than You Think, CDC Says

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville Tennessee TN Drone Skyline Aerial Panorama.

Nashville officials recently decided that the city would pause its reopening and stay in phase 2 for the "foreseeable future." The announcement came after the city's highest single day of new infections on July 14, with 771 confirmed COVID-19 cases recorded.

New Orleans, Louisiana

bourbon street in new orleans

New Orleans was the site of one of the first coronavirus outbreaks, largely due to Mardi Gras celebrations in early March. But sadly the Louisiana city has returned to hotspot status. According to Johns Hopkins' data, over 120 new cases were recorded in Orleans Parish on July 22.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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According to data made public by the state of Pennsylvania, Allegheny County, home to Pittsburgh, saw 93 new COVID cases on July 22, which is 200 new cases per 100,000 residents. That number is double the 100 new cases per 100,000 metric in the leaked White House document used to label a state a "red zone." And for more on what Pittsburgh should be doing, check out The 8 Things You Need to Do If You Live in a "Red Zone," White House Says.

St. Louis, Missouri

skyline of st. louis missouri

According to St. Louis' public health data, the Gateway to the West saw a sharp rise in daily COVID cases, peaking at 69 on July 9, up from just 15 on June 9. Data for the past two weeks, however, has not yet been made available.

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