Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

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%.

This analysis uses a seven-day average, to minimize the distortions of reporting delays or similar technical issues, and compares that average to the average from the week before.

  • We're using data from the COVID Tracking Project. Other sources, including the widely used Johns Hopkins database, show different results for some states, including Washington state.

The bottom line: No one measurement tells the whole story, and there are signs that most of the country is moving in the right direction.

  • But there's a big difference between moving in the right direction and being out of the woods, and there will be no victory over the coronavirus without a sustained, documented decline in the number of new cases.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 13,203,571 — Total deaths: 575,201 — Total recoveries — 7,331,068Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 3,407,798 — Total deaths: 136,252 — Total recoveries: 1,031,939 — Total tested: 41,004,275Map.
  3. Politics: Biden welcomes Trump wearing mask in public but warns "it’s not enough"
  4. Public health: Four former CDC heads say Trump's undermining of agency puts lives at risk — CDC director: U.S. could get coronavirus "under control" in 4–8 weeks if all wear masks.
Updated Jul 10, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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

Hong Kong's secondary schools, primary schools and kindergartens will close on Monday, education secretary Kevin Yeung announced Friday.

What's happening: Hong Kong reported 147 new coronavirus infections over the past week, the Financial Times reports. 88 of those infections were reportedly locally transmitted.

Jul 13, 2020 - Health

California orders sweeping rollback of open businesses as virus cases surge

Photo: Agustin Paullier/AFP via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday ordered indoor operations for restaurants, wineries, movie theaters and other family entertainment like zoos, museums and card rooms to cease immediately. Bars must also close entirely.

Why it matters: It's the largest statewide rollback of a reopening plan yet, underscoring the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in California.