Anthony Fauci has a message for the Midwest: Please be careful. America's top infectious disease expert says seven states with rising COVID-19 rates should take extra care this Labor Day weekend to avoid trouble in the fall, the New York Post reports. "There are several states that are at risk for surging, namely North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois," Fauci told Bloomberg this week. "Those states are starting to see an increase in the percent positive of their testing; that is generally predictive that there's going to be a problem." Among the seven states, Illinois has the highest official coronavirus tally with at least 241,704 cases, Newsweek reported Friday.
The other states in descending order are Indiana (96,854), Missouri (89,639), Iowa (67,692), Arkansas (63,081), South Dakota (14,337), and North Dakota (12,977). In a call to Mike Pence and several governors this week, Fauci advised them to follow mask-wearing and social-distancing guidelines. "If we're careless about it, then we could wind up with a surge following Labor Day," Fauci said. "It really depends on how we behave as a country." Bloomberg recalls that Memorial Day "marked a turning point" that appeared to trigger outbreaks, and America's worst spike came a few weeks after July 4th, when new cases surpassed 60,000 per day. (Read more coronavirus stories.)