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Harvard study: Most of Florida’s counties in the COVID-19 'danger zone'

Doctors are now recommending stay-at-home orders for any counties seeing a percent positive rate over 10 percent.

TAMPA, Fla. — Three colors now show the strain the coronavirus pandemic has put on the United States.

"We created a dashboard and created different thresholds based off of what we call mitigation and suppression," said Dr. Tom Tsai.

He is one of many doctors crunching numbers to put a COVID-19 Risk Level Dashboard together. He and Dr. Ashish Jha agree, any state in the red zone needs to take action now.

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"Nothing that has happened in the last week has made me think that we have made the changes need to really bend this curve," Jha said to reports last week.

Florida is marked red, meaning the state is seeing a high rate of new cases. Take a deeper dive into Tampa Bay and all but two counties are the same color.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay
Harvard study shows most Tampa Bay counties in the red

The study from the Harvard Global Health Institute shows the spread of COVID-19 is uncontrollable in the majority of the state.

"I think we are at a tipping point, we may have crossed it with a number of deaths and the hospital ICU units that are being threatened," said Dr. Jay Wolfson with USF Public Health.

But while the Harvard study paints a grim picture, the data is important. 

"We need to be able to have both as citizens in our community as local leaders Employers, politicians and policymakers, we need to have access to reliable, valid, trustworthy data so that we can make decisions about our communities," Wolfson said.

Doctors say mandating masks in all counties with rising test percent positivity, closing down places with high contact, and limited gatherings to 10 people are less is key.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay
Doctors recommend lock downs and closures in red counties

"We need to push that curve down, and the exposure in our community is considerable. If people continue to ignore that, then there may be a need for at least local lock downs or closures. None of us want to see that because, yes, it'll result in a reduction in the curve, but the collateral damage is significant," Dr. Wolfson said.

Gov. Ron DeSantis says he does not plan on rolling back any of the state's reopening plans.

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