Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia are three of the next likely hot spots for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, according to White House task force officials.
The three cities are seeing an increasing number of cases, as are counties around Philadelphia; Camden, New Jersey; and Wilmington, Delaware.
While cases are building up in the areas, officials are seeing lower “attack rates” compared to New York, which has the most cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the country. “Attack rates” refer to the total number of new cases divided by the total population.
The data has been “encouraging,” task force response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx told reporters, adding the numbers show “that when you start mitigation early it has a very different impact.”
“It really shows us that the original outbreaks were very large, but the newer ones that we talk about in Washington, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, it looks like their attack rates—and attack rates in Denver and some of these other states that we have been talking about—are much lower than New York and New Jersey.”
Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the task force, said Wednesday that an area of particular concern is Philadelphia. He spoke with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf about the situation and urged city residents to practice social distancing.
Philadelphia County has over 5,000 confirmed cases and 86 deaths, according to state figures. Nearby Delaware and Montgomery counties also have over 1,200 cases each, along with dozens of deaths.
“While it’s not good news that Philadelphia and the southeastern part of the state is seen as a hot spot, it is going to be helpful in getting more resources,” Wolf told reporters on Wednesday.
Maryland and Pennsylvania are both under lockdown as authorities try to stem the spread of the CCP virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said this week that the state is “going to be the next hot spot,” along with nearby Washington and Virginia.
Hogan believes Maryland is about two weeks behind New York.
Montgomery and Prince George’s counties have seen the most cases in the state, which has 6,185 confirmed cases and 138 deaths. Washington, meanwhile, has 1,523 positives and 32 deaths.