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Dr. Fauci says he's now worried about COVID-19 in the Midwest based on 'early indications'

Dr. Fauci says he's now worried about COVID-19 in the Midwest based on 'early indications'
Posted at 4:36 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 16:36:59-04

As Florida and other southern states continue to report record numbers of coronavirus cases, Dr. Anthony Fauci said his concern has shifted to states in the Midwest. He called out Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee specifically, saying they are showing an “early indication” that cases of COVID-19 are going up.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said those states should carefully follow guidelines as they open back up during an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday.

Some states like Florida, Texas, Arizona and California had a major surge in coronavirus cases, he said, but it looks like cases may be cresting and coming back down.

“What I'm concerned about is … that some of the other states, the Ohios, Indianas, Tennessees, Kentuckys that are starting to have that very early indication that the percent of cases regarding the number of tests that you have, that it's going up,” Fauci said. “That can be a surefire sign you've got to really be careful and you've got to — if you are trying to open up, please do it in a way that's in accordance with the guidelines.”

In April, President Donald Trump rolled out a three-phase plan to ease restrictions that depend on meeting specific case count and hospital capacity thresholds.

“If you do that carefully … I think we can prevent the surges that we've seen in the southern states because we just can't afford yet again another surge,” Fauci said.

Fauci’s comments come a day after Gov. Andy Beshear ordered all Kentucky bars to close for two weeks. Kentucky reported its second-highest daily total Saturday with 836 more positive cases of the virus and a daily record of 979 confirmed cases on July 19.

Ohio's Gov. Mike DeWine made masks mandatory on Thursday, and Indiana's Gov. Eric Holcomb did the same on Monday.

This story originally reported by Abby Dawn on wcpo.com.