• White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci sees hopeful signs that the number of coronavirus cases in particularly hard-hit states is finally starting to improve.
  • The states in question include coronavirus hotspots like California, Florida, Texas, and Arizona.
  • Fauci warns that these states, however, are not out of the woods yet.

If you’ve paid any attention at all to the onslaught of new coronavirus cases that keep mounting in the US, you can probably identify the group of states that have been dealing with the worst of the outbreak in the US. California and Florida are at the top of the list, and have seen record numbers of cases for most of the coronavirus pandemic, as have other hotspot states like Arizona and Texas. The outbreak has been so persistently bad in California, for example, that the Los Angeles City Council has started to look at whether actually paying people to quarantine and stay home when they test positive for the coronavirus might help flatten the case curve there.

One LA city councilman earlier this week introduced a motion to establish a $25 million “wage replacement program” for any Los Angeles resident — regardless of even their criminal record. It’s certainly a dramatic-sounding step to contain the spread of the virus, even though there might (emphasis on “might”) be some good news on the horizon.

White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, who also serves as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during an appearance on Good Morning America this week that four particularly hard-hit states during the coronavirus pandemic — the four we mentioned above, California, Texas, Florida, and Arizona) — “may be cresting and coming back down.”

This comes as Fauci this week also warned that another four states, coincidentally, are seeing their coronavirus risk profile rise at a worrisome rate. Those four states include Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana. Specifically, he’s looking at the positive rate (the percentage of positive tests versus overall coronavirus tests performed) and the rate at which that metric is rising in those four states.

“That’s a surefire sign that you’ve got to be really careful,” Fauci said on GMA. “And if you are trying to open, please do it in a way that’s in accordance with the guidelines. The guidelines that we carefully put together some time ago.”

Florida has especially needed some good news for a while now in terms of its explosion of coronavirus cases. With more than 451,000 cases having been confirmed in Florida thus far, it’s got more cases than all but 5 other countries, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University. Nevertheless, according to The New York Times, Florida is now a state where “new cases are mostly the same.” There are still plenty of warning signs that show Florida has a ways to go yet to overcome this crisis, such as the fact that the availability of ICU beds in the state remains low, but Covid Act Now points out that Florida’s infection rate of 1.01 reflects the fact that “COVID is still spreading, but slowly.”

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.