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Dolores Park in San Francisco, California on May 22. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

The spread of the novel coronavirus has not slowed in 24 states, according to a new model by Imperial College London that forecasts infection spikes as more people travel and leave their homes in the coming weeks.

Why it matters: Nearly every state across the U.S. has taken steps to reopen their economies partially or completely, including some regions and industries that are deemed "low-risk" for spreading the virus, per a New York Times analysis.

What they found: Texas, Arizona, Illinois, Colorado and Ohio are at the highest risk in the college's model — which has not yet been peer-reviewed — followed by Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa, Alabama and Wisconsin.

  • The researchers predict that deaths over the next two months could exceed the current national death toll by more than two-fold, if transmissions continue to rise as less social distancing is enforced.
  • They emphasize that rapid testing, contact tracing and behavioral precautions are crucial to slow the spread.
"Our results suggest that while the US has substantially reduced its reproduction numbers in all states, there is little evidence that the epidemic is under control in the majority of states."
"Without changes in behaviour that result in reduced transmission, or interventions such as increased testing that limit transmission, new infections of COVID-19 are likely to persist, and, in the majority of states, grow."
— Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team

Where it stands: U.S. counties most recently identified as having a high prevalence of coronavirus cases — or at least 100 cases per 100,000 people — tend to be in the South and Midwest, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.

  • But, Illinois, Colorado, Ohio, Indiana and Iowa have seen a slight decrease in cases within the last week.

Between the lines: Fauci noted at a CNN town hall on Thursday that he has "a little skepticism about models," as they "are subject to the suppositions and the assumptions you put into them."

  • This study does not account for contract tracing, wearing masks, mass testing or changes to workplace or transit systems to accommodate the virus.
  • Fauci has advised states that are reopening "to be on the alert" for "little blips" of infections as stay-at-home restrictions are lifted across the U.S.

Go deeper: Coronavirus cases are on the rise across the South

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Aug 31, 2020 - Health

India reports world's biggest daily coronavirus cases spike

Health care workers during door to door screening for the coronavirus in Mumbai, India, on Sunday. Photo: Pratik Chorge/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

India reported Sunday 78,761 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, taking the total number in the country to over 3.5 million.

Why it matters: It's the highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases reported by a country since the pandemic began. India has the fastest-growing number of daily cases, with over 75,000 being reported for four consecutive days, per AP. "Crowded cities," not enough contact tracing and "lockdown fatigue" are driving the spread in the country of 1.4 billion people, as restrictions are loosened aimed a struggling economy, the New York Times notes.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

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