Tennessee and Kansas, both states that have eased lockdown restrictions, are home to counties where coronavirus infections have spiked by 1,000 percent in a week, an unreleased White House COVID-19 taskforce report shows.
The report indicates that cases are increasing in heartland pockets of the United States despite President Donald Trump‘s claim on Monday that infections are ‘coming down rapidly’ across the country.
The data in the report, which has not been released publicly but was obtained by NBC News, was included in a May 7 COVID-19 task force report compiled by its data and analytics team.
The emergence of the report comes as Dr Anthony Fauci warned Congress on Tuesday that a premature lifting of lockdowns could lead to additional outbreaks of COVID-19, which has so far killed more than 81,000 Americans and infected 1.3 million.
Included in the report is a list of counties that have seen infections spikes in a week compared to the previous seven days. The data is believed to stem from April 29 to May 6. Local health officials in most of those areas have already warned they are potential emerging hotspots due to the spike in confirmed cases.
Tennessee’s Trousdale County, which is just outside Nashville, saw the biggest spike with infections increasing by more than 1,000 percent, the report shows.
The huge increase is due to an outbreak at the privately run Trousdale Turner Correctional Center where nearly 1,300 inmates and 50 staffers recently tested positive.
Tennessee currently has more than 15,500 cases and over 250 deaths.
Leavenworth County in Kansas, which is just west of Kansas City, has also seen its infections increase by 1,000 percent over a week with 587 new cases reported.
Health officials there have reported two clusters of cases – one at the Lansing Correctional Facility and another at the state-run Grossman Residential Reentry Center.
Kansas currently has just over 7,000 cases and 180 deaths.
Wisconsin, which reported more than 2,300 new cases in a week, has seen a more than 100 percent spike in cases in both Racine and Kenosha counties.
The report indicates that Wisconsin’s southeastern region, which includes both counties, makes up 57 percent of the state’s facility-based outbreaks, including workplace and long-term care.
Missouri’s Buchanan County and Muhlenberg County in Kentucky have both seen a 600 percent spike in cases in a week, according to the report.
Nebraska’s Colfax County, just outside Omaha, recorded a 500 percent increase in infections in a week, while Stearns County in Minnesota saw about a 400 percent jump.
Iowa’s Polk County and Georgia’s Hall County both saw spikes of more than 100 percent.
Rising cases in these small emerging hotspots come as infections across the US surpassed 1.3 million with more than 81,000 deaths.
The majority of states across the US have now started to gradually reopen with Trump pushing for people to get back to work and to reopen the economy.
The report also pinpoints counties that are considered locations to watch based on the increase of week-to-week cases but that don’t have has many new infections per 100,000 in a week.
In Texas, Dallas County reported an increase in cases in a week with 82 percent assumed to be from community transmissions in cities including Dallas, Garland and Irving.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Emily Crane