SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The path to zero COVID-19 cases is what experts are working to achieve. And now, experts at Harvard Global Health Institute, along with other COVID-19 data sites, has launched an interactive map for people to see how their county and state are doing compared to the rest of the nation.
A color-coded map of the United States shows the risk level of COVID-19 across the country. And here in Utah, 11 of the state’s 29 counties face accelerated spread of the respiratory virus – those are the counties in orange, according to globalepidemics.org.
Living in an orange county means there’s 10 to 24 new cases every day, per 100,000 people and experts with global epidemics recommend those counties have stay-at-home orders or rigorous test and tracing efforts.
As cases continue to rise, ABC4 News spoke to Annie George, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the Salt Lake County Health Department, to learn what county health officials are doing to continue to limit the spread.
“We are still heavily involved in contact tracing. Another thing we have started doing is something we call hot spot analysis,” George said. “So, we’re looking at geographically where these cases are appearing throughout the Salt Lake Valley and then we are targeting testing to some of these locations.”
George said she’s a believer in flattening the curve, and recognizes it takes everyone to do it.
“I think the thing people don’t realize is that if you look at the explanations of how to do that, it takes a sustained response,” George said. “I think a lot of people thought, we’re just gonna chop the top off and then go on our merry way, and it doesn’t work like that. It takes everybody working together.”
Now 11 Utah counties are in yellow, where data suggests there is community spread. And seven counties are in green, and Global Epidemics reports those areas are on track for containment.
This site also allows people to look at how Utah compares to the rest of the nation. The Beehive State is one of 13 in the U.S. that faces an acceleration of the spread of COVID-19.
As of Wednesday afternoon, globalepidemics.org warned users that the interactive map was “experiencing difficulties to load for some users due to the overwhelming interest.”