Suppose one number could tell us what our county needs to do now to move toward shutting down Covid-19. Suppose there were a color-coded map showing at a glance how our state, or all the states, are doing. This is exactly what was introduced yesterday by a nationwide group of prominent researchers studying the pandemic, led by the Harvard Global Health Initiative.
The metric this group has settled on, and is trying to convince other Covid-19 tracking projects to use, is the 7-day trailing average of new cases per 100,000 population. If new cases in a county have averaged less than 1.0 over the previous week, the county gets a green color on the map. A value of 2 to 9 gets yellow; 10 to 24, orange; and 25 or over, red.
Below is the current map of US counties color-coded in this way; next is a key to the colors and the recommended remediation actions for each color.
Zooming in, we see Minnesota’s situation in finer detail. Three counties need drastic measures, a further eight are moving in the wrong direction, and for the bulk of the state (including the Metro), the virus is spreading slowly. Twenty-four counties are green, indicating that at this time the virus is under control there.
Below are the per-county details for Ramsey and Hennepin, which the dashboard shows when the pointer is hovered over the county in the state view.