These States Aren't Doing Enough to Fight COVID, White House Warns

The coronavirus task force says their previous efforts "changed the course of this pandemic."

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The return of the holiday season usually brings with it the anticipation of being reunited and celebrating with loved ones. But this year's festivities are also arriving as the U.S. suffers the worst days yet of the coronavirus pandemic, with record-breaking numbers being reported each day. But one set of states in particular has drawn the ire of the White House for not doing enough to fight COVID surges: the Sun Belt. Read on to see what the coronavirus task force had to say about their response, and for more on the states earning praise, check out Dr. Fauci Says These 2 States Have Had the Best COVID Response.

During an interview with NBC's Meet the Press on Dec. 6, Deborah Birx, MD, White House coronavirus task force coordinator, made it clear that there were some state officials who were not stepping up to the task of keeping COVID-19 at bay with basic restrictions that had worked previously. "Right now, across the Sun Belt, we have governors and mayors who have cases equivalent to what they had in the summertime, yet aren't putting in the same policies and mitigations that they put in the summer that they know changed the course of this pandemic," she said.

Birx went on to explain how officials were responsible for making sure their citizens are aware of the dangers of getting together to celebrate upcoming holidays. "Every state needs to be critically informing their state population that the gatherings that we saw in Thanksgiving will lead to a surge," she warned.

"It will happen this week and next week. And cannot go into the holiday season—Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza—with the same kind of attitude that: 'Those gatherings don't apply to me.' They apply to everyone if you don't want to lose your grandparents, your aunt," Birx cautioned.

States in the Sun Belt previously enacted safety measures during summertime peaks, such as mask mandates and business closures, that successfully brought numbers down. But even amid skyrocketing case numbers and hospitalizations, officials such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have repeatedly rebuffed advice from the federal task force and refused to issue statewide policies. In mid-November, a spokesperson for DeSantis told local Miami affiliate CBS12 News, "The governor will not lockdown and hurt families who can't afford to shelter in place for six weeks—especially not for a virus that has a 99.8 percent survival rate."

But Birx says: "We have to really understand how contagious, how infectious this virus is. And it's really important at this moment in time that everyone understands also how much virus is out there."

As of Dec. 9, all three of the states to report above 1 million COVID-19 cases were located in the Sun Belt: Texas, California, and Florida. Read on to see how each state in the Sun Belt region is faring, as of Dec. 9, according to data from Covid Act Now, and for more on red flags that you may be sick, check out This Strange Pain Could Be the First Sign You Have COVID, Study Says.

Read the original article on Best Life.

1
Alabama

The skyline of downtown Birmingham, Alabama at sunset.
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Daily new cases per 100,000 people: 69.2

Positive test rate: 17.4 percent

And for more on how to stay safe this time of year, check out Dr. Fauci Says to Limit Your Holiday Celebrations to This Many People.

2
Arizona

cityscape photo of Phoenix, Arizona at night
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Daily new cases per 100,000 people: 81.3

Positive test rate: 15.7 percent

3
Arkansas

cityscape photo of Little Rock, Arkansas at sunset
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Daily new cases per 100,000 people: 71.1

Positive test rate: 11.1 percent

And for more on places you should be avoiding, check out Almost All COVID Transmission Is Happening in These 5 Places, Doctor Says.

4
California

downtown los angeles skyline
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Daily new cases per 100,000 people: 62

Positive test rate: 7.9 percent

5
Colorado

Town in Colorado with vintage architecture on street park square in luxury expensive famous city during summer day
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Daily new cases per 100,000 people: 78.4

Positive test rate: 12.4 percent

6
Florida

cityscape photo of a roundabout and buildings in Tampa, Florida at sunset
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Daily new cases per 100,000 people: 43.6

Positive test rate: 10.6 percent

And for more on what could make the pandemic even worse, check out Dr. Fauci Says This One Thing Could Spread COVID More Than Anything Yet.

7
Georgia

cityscape photo of fast moving traffic on a highway and building in Atlanta, Georgia at night
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Daily new cases per 100,000 people: 46.5

Positive test rate: 13.2 percent

8
Kansas

field of wheat in central Kansas is nearly ready for harvest.
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Daily new cases per 100,000 people: 83.7

Positive test rate: 21.1 percent

9
Louisiana

cityscape photo of buildings in New Orleans, Louisiana at night
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Daily new cases per 100,000 people: 51.7

Positive test rate: 11.1 percent

10
Mississippi

city skyline and Mississippi Stat Capitol Building in Jackson, Mississippi
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Daily new cases per 100,000 people: 64.9

Positive test rate: 16.9 percent

And for more on what type of PPE to be careful of, check out The FDA Just Issued a Warning Against This Kind of Face Mask.

11
Nevada

cityscape photos of building, casinos, and streets in Las Vegas, Nevada at night
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Daily new cases per 100,000 people: 86.9

Positive test rate: 22.4 percent

12
New Mexico

cityscape photo of Santa Fe, New Mexico at dusk
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Daily new cases per 100,000 people: 71.7

Positive test rate: 15 percent

13
North Carolina

cityscape photo of Raleigh, North Carolina in the afternoon
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Daily new cases per 100,000 people: 48.9

Positive test rate: 11 percent

14
Oklahoma

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Daily new cases per 100,000 people: 76.6

Positive test rate: 20.9 percent

15
South Carolina

downtown area of Charleston, South Carolina in the afternoon
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Daily new cases per 100,000 people: 50.1

Positive test rate: 14.3 percent

16
Texas

city skyline of Austin, Texas at sunset
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Daily new cases per 100,000 people: 47.5

Positive test rate: 14 percent

17
Tennessee

Memphis Tennessee
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Daily new cases per 100,000 people: 64.9

Positive test rate: Unknown

18
Utah

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Daily new cases per 100,000 people: 96.7

Positive test rate: 20.2 percent

And for a factor that could be keeping you free of the virus, check out If You Have One of These Blood Types, You May Be Safe From COVID.

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
Zachary covers beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He's the owner of Alphabet City Beer Co. in New York City and is a Certified Cicerone. Read more
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