Unpublicized White House report lists state of Texas and North Texas counties as ‘red zones’ for COVID-19

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A healthcare professional, right, takes a sample from a patient at a United Memorial Medical Center COVID-19 testing site Wednesday, June 24, 2020, in Houston. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that the state is facing a “massive outbreak” in the coronavirus pandemic and that some new local restrictions may be needed to protect hospital space for new patients. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

On July 16, the Center for Public Integrity reported that Texas was considered a ‘red zone’ for COVID-19 cases and positive tests in an unpublicized document from the White House. The document was prepared for the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

It is unknown why the report was not publicized.

The report breaks down states by county, ranking them based on cases and positive tests. In North Texas, Dallas County ranked #2 in the red zone behind Harris County, and Tarrant County ranked #5. Counties ranked in the red zone had new cases above 100 per 100,000 people and a test positivity rate above 10%.

Collin, Denton, and Rockwall were listed in the yellow zone, meaning new cases reported were between 10-100 per 100,000 people and a test positivity rate of 5-10%.

The reports suggests red zone states revert to tighter restrictions to control the spread of coronavirus including losing bars and gyms, mask requirements, and limiting the size of social gatherings.

Dallas County reported 1,026 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. This brings the total cases in the county to 42,292, including 526 deaths.

In Tarrant County, there were 385 new cases for a total of 22,002 cases and 299 deaths.

Overall Texas has reported 332,434 cases of COVID-19, with 4,020 deaths.

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