Several Southern states are seeing a rise in new coronavirus cases, moving them further away from an important target for safely reopening parts of their economies.
Why it matters: The Trump administration’s reopening guidelines call for a consistent decline in new cases before proceeding with the process — and some states are proceeding even without clearing that threshold.
Between the lines: The total number of cases is an important piece of the puzzle — but it’s only one piece.
The number of new cases will rise as a state performs more testing, so looking at this metric in isolation can give the false impression of a worsening outbreak.
Yes, but: Some of the states whose new cases are increasing in this analysis — including Arkansas, North Carolina and North Dakota — also fare poorly in a more holistic analysis that also accounts for other metrics.
Where it stands: South Dakota has made the most progress over the past week, cutting its new cases by over half.
North Carolina and North Dakota bring up the rear, with spikes in new cases of around 40%.
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