Summertime usually means hitting the road for family trips, but things are obviously a lot different this year. On top of packing extra masks and hand sanitizer, it’s important to know what the COVID-19 risk level looks like both in your area and at your hopeful destination before you leave. Luckily, a group of scientists just released a simple way for us to stay updated on the number of cases across the country.
Researchers from the Harvard Global Health Institute created a map that shows the number of new cases per 100,000 people in each state. You can view each state broken down by county and highlighted with red, orange, yellow, or green based on how high or low the risk is in those specific spots. Here’s what those colors mean:
- Green: Less than one case per 100,000 people and on track for containment with monitoring viral testing and contact trace programs.
- Yellow: One to nine cases per 100,000 people with community spread requiring rigorous testing and trace programs.
- Orange: Ten to 24 cases per 100,000 people with accelerated spread with stay-at-home orders, rigorous testing, and trace programs advised.
- Red: More than 25 cases per 100,000 people and at a tipping point with stay-at-home orders necessary.
It’s important to note that the map isn’t an excuse to rush out to areas with green or yellow hues, though (and Hawaii is the only state that is green). It more highlights how important it still is to take all of the necessary precautions — like wearing a mask and avoiding large crowds to maintain social distancing, even in low risk spots.
The map is also useful even if you don’t plan on traveling, but just want to keep tabs on how your own county’s cases are rising or falling. We definitely recommend bookmarking it to check on a regular basis.
Check out the map on the Pandemics Explained website.