A document prepared for the White House Coronavirus Task Force has placed 123 Texas counties in a COVID-19 "red zone" and suggests that more stringent safety measures should be taken to slow the spread of the virus.
According to a report published by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit newsroom based in Washington D.C., the document lists 18 in the "red zone" for COVID-19 cases, meaning that they has more than 100 cases per 100,000 population last week.
The document also lists 11 states in the "red zone" for test positivity, meaning that 10% of the COVID-19 test results were positive, the Center for Public Integrity reported.
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The document categorized the state of Texas a "red zone" in both areas. In the week ending on July 14, both the number of COVID-19 cases and the number of positive tests in Texas were double the national average.
The document suggests that "red zone" states enact more extensive protective measures, including limiting social gatherings to no more than 10 people, closing bars and gyms, and asking residents to wear masks at all times.
Gov. Abbott has imposed some of the recommended protective measures like closing bars and issuing a mask order in early July. However, restaurants are still allowed to fill up to 50% of their capacity, and gyms are still open.
The document lists Dallas and Tarrant counties as "red zones," while Collin, Denton, and Rockwall counties considered "yellow zones."
Within Texas, the highest number of cases over the past three weeks came from Dallas, Harris, and Bexar counties, accounting for 35% of new coronavirus cases in the state.
According to the Center for Public Integrity, the document was shared within the federal government, but it does not seem to be posted publicly.