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COVID-19 by county: New tool identifies local virus risk levels

Is your county red, orange, yellow or green?

A map of counties across the United States and their labeled COVID-19 "risk level" from a new research initiative led by Harvard Global Health Institute. Image courtesy of the research initiative's website, globalepidemics.org.
A map of counties across the United States and their labeled COVID-19 "risk level" from a new research initiative led by Harvard Global Health Institute. Image courtesy of the research initiative's website, globalepidemics.org. (Harvard Global Health Institute)

A new tool is making it easier to identify the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) spread at the county level for each individual state.

Harvard Global Health Institute, Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and a number of other researchers and public health experts across the country together launched a new data framework for identifying COVID-19 risk levels for entire states and their counties.

Identified regions fall into one of four risk level categories -- red, orange, yellow or green -- depending how high their increase of COVID-19 cases is each day. Regions’ risk levels don’t necessarily change each day, but rather are based on the daily changes in data.

A map of counties across the United States and their labeled COVID-19 "risk level" from a new research initiative by Harvard Global Health Institute. Image courtesy of the data framework's website, globalepidemics.org. (Harvard Global Health Institute)

Regions labeled green are “on track for containment” and are reporting fewer than 1 new COVID-19 case per 100,000 people each day. Regions labeled yellow are experiencing “community spread” and are reporting 1-9 new cases per 100,000 people each day. Regions labeled orange are experiencing an “accelerated spread” and are reporting 10-24 new cases per 100,000 people each day.

Researchers say regions labeled red are at a “tipping point” and are reporting at least 25 new cases per 100,000 people each day.

A table displaying the methodology for Harvard Global Health Institute's data framework that identifies U.S. regions' COVID-19 risk level by assessing their daily increase in cases per every 100,000 people. Image courtesy of the data framework's website, globalepidemics.org. (Harvard Global Health Institute)

Hawaii and Vermont are the only two states labeled at a green risk level. Majority of the states, 33, are labeled yellow and 13 are labeled orange. Arizona, Florida and Mississippi are the only three states labeled at a red risk level, as they are seeing significant spikes in COVID-19 cases.


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