The COVID Outbreak Is "Moving Up" Into These States, White House Says

After ravaging the South, Deborah Birx, MD, says the virus is headed into these seven states.

This summer has seen a massive surge of coronavirus cases in southern and southwestern states. But as the new epicenters of Texas, Florida, Arizona, and California slowly begin to curb the spread, it appears that the outbreaks are now migrating north instead. According to Deborah Birx, MD, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, COVID outbreaks are "moving up … probably because of vacations and other reasons of travel," she told Fox and Friends in an interview on July 30.

Birx named the seven states that are starting to see COVID-19 numbers climb and she pleaded with local officials in these states on the brink to enforce social distancing rules and mask mandates in their areas. If they follow the example of recently hard-hit states, "we can really get control of this virus and drive down cases," she said. According to the White House, these are the states that COVID is "moving up into." And for more on places that are seeing coronavirus spike, check out This Previously "Safe" State Just Saw a Surge in COVID Cases.


louisville kentucky skyline

The Bluegrass State recently extended its mask mandate and just experienced its first slight dip in COVID cases in nearly a month. But local officials are still not playing down the virus's threat. In a briefing on the latest figures, Mark Carter from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services was cautiously optimistic. "I feel like the progress is good, but we all worry about what might happen with the spread of the virus and what that might mean for our public health response," he said. And for more on where the virus is spreading, check out Dr. Fauci Warns That COVID Surges Are Moving Into These 2 U.S. Regions.


Nashville, Tennessee

Tennessee was one of the states Birx traveled to earlier this week in an effort to help the Volunteer State keep COVID-19 at bay. But instead of heeding the White House's guidance, the governor of Tennessee is choosing to outright ignore the advise to shut down bars and issue a mask mandate. According to Covid Act Now, the state is now at a "critical" level, with the daily new case average per capita increasing 25 percent in the past two weeks and ICU bed availability steadily decreasing.


cleveland ohio skyline

Birx said the White House is specifically concerned about southern Ohio, but the state is struggling overall. After holding average new cases steady for some time, there's bad news in the Buckeye State as of late. On July 30, Gov. Mike DeWine reported a record high of 1,733 new cases. He also said that 9 of the 10 highest reported days ever had occurred in the past three weeks. "That's certainly not good news," he noted.

The news comes just one week after DeWine ordered a statewide mask mandate. And for more on what not to do to avoid the virus, check out Wearing This One Item to Avoid COVID Is a Huge Mistake, Doctors Warn.


The skyline of St. Louis, Missouri with the Arch in view.

After posting some of its worst numbers since the beginning of the pandemic just days ago, Missouri does not appear to be closing out the week on a strong note. The New York Times reports that new cases are a staggering 71 percent higher than they were just two weeks ago, with a single-day record-breaking 2,084 cases on July 30. It's the seventh time in the past 11 days that the state has set a record.



Iowa has been one of the states on the White House's "red zone" list for two weeks in a row. The state reported 649 new cases on July 30, which is a 33 percent increase from the previous day. Its positive test rate is 9.4 percent—earning it a "high" ranking from Covid Act Now. And for more on places that were recently added to the federal coronavirus watch list, check out There Are 3 New States on the White House's Coronavirus "Red Zone" List.


Wichita, Kansas, USA downtown skyline at dusk.

Another state on the leaked "red zone" list, Kansas earned itself a "high" risk rating from Covid Act Now, with a 10.9 percent positive test rate. The state has reported a total of at least 27,244 cases and 357 deaths since the pandemic began.


Downtown Omaha skyline with the Gene Leahy Mall in the foreground

The COVID-19 outbreak is moving up from hard-hit Texas to Midwestern states like Nebraska. Despite witnessing a 34 percent increase in cases over the last two weeks, Nebraska is removing restrictions on public gatherings and business openings in about 25 percent of its counties. And for more on what may be to come in the pandemic, check out A Harvard Doctor Just Shared a Dark Coronavirus Prediction for the Fall.

Best Life is constantly monitoring the latest news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed. Here are the answers to your most burning questions, the ways you can stay safe and healthy, the facts you need to know, the risks you should avoid, the myths you need to ignore,and the symptoms to be aware of. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.
Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
Filed Under