As the United States approaches five million confirmed cases of COVID-19, White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx has warned local officials in nine cities about the growing number of new cases they are reporting.
Birx told the officials during a conference call that the pandemic has entered a new phase and is hitting "both rural and urban areas" of the country. While many southern states are starting to make progress in containing the spread of the coronavirus, cities in the midwest are seeing spikes in new cases.
"We are seeing encouraging signs across the South," Birx said on a recording of the call obtained by the Center for Public Integrity. "We are concerned that both Baltimore and Atlanta remain at a very high level — [also] Kansas City, Portland, Omaha [and] of course what we talked about in the Central Valley [of California]."
She cautioned leaders in four cities, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, and Washington, D.C., that they must keep working to slow the spread of the virus. While they are doing a good job dealing with the pandemic, Birx said she is concerned with a recent uptick in the percentage of positive tests.
Dr. Birx said that the coronavirus task force will continue to monitor the situation across the country and will make recommendations on how best to deal with the pandemic based on the data they have been gathering.
"We are watching each county, each city across the United States very carefully and are providing the best advice we have based on models... showing that these mitigation efforts are working," she said.
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