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

Updated 9 hours ago - Health

8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

8 states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project (CTP) and state health departments. Montana, West Virginia, and Wyoming surpassed records from the previous week.

Why it matters: Cases and hospitalizations are rising in Michigan, a state that initially fought the pandemic with strict mitigation efforts, alongside states that took less action against the spread of the virus this spring.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump says if Biden's elected, "he'll listen to the scientists"Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  4. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  5. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  6. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  7. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.

Trump says if Biden's elected, "he'll listen to the scientists"

Combination images of President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images/Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

The Biden campaign slammed President Trump after he said at a Nevada rally Sunday if his Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden were elected there'd be more coronavirus pandemic lockdowns because "he'll listen to the scientists."

What he's saying: "If I listened totally to the scientists, we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression," Trump said.

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