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Data: Coders Against COVID; Note: Rhode Island and Puerto Rico did not meet minimum testing thresholds for analysis. Values may not add to 100% due to rounding; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Schools in Southern and Midwestern states are most at risk of coronavirus transmission, according to an analysis by Coders Against COVID that uses risk indicators developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The big picture: Thankfully, schools have not yet become coronavirus hotspots, the Washington Post reported this week, and rates of infection are lower than in the surrounding communities. But that doesn't mean schools are in the clear, especially heading into winter.

The risk of opening schools closely tracks the prevalence of the virus in that community.

  • The CDC's top risk indicators are the number of new cases per 100,000 people within the last two weeks, the testing positivity rate over the same period, and a school's ability to implement several key mitigation strategies (which isn't reflected in this data set).
  • Yes, but: In some rural areas, where the population is small, it only takes a handful of cases to hit what the CDC has deemed a "moderate" risk level.

By the numbers: On Sept. 8, Missouri, Alabama, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas and Iowa had the highest average statewide transmission risks in the country, according to the Coders Against COVID analysis.

  • Connecticut, D.C., New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont all had a transmission risk of 1, the lowest possible.

Iowa, Arkansas, Florida and Texas — all of which had relatively high risk scores — have ordered in-person instruction to be available part- or full-time, according to Education Week.

  • D.C. schools have been ordered to do distance learning until November, and New York City has yet to open its schools after announcing it plans to do so.

What we're watching: Data reporting is inconsistent, but Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas and Tennessee have all already reported more than a thousand cases in K-12 schools, the NYT reported earlier this week.

  • Many of the largest school districts still aren't open for in-person learning, and flu season is around the corner. But for now, schools have avoided some of the worst-case scenarios.

Go deeper

Oct 29, 2020 - Health

U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record

Expand chart
Data: COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

The United States reported 88,452 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, setting a single-day record, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The country confirmed 1,049 additional deaths due to the virus, and there are over 46,000 people currently being hospitalized, suggesting the U.S. is experiencing a third wave heading into the winter months.

Oct 29, 2020 - World

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing" and the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus for the achievement, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

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