The coronavirus may still be spreading at epidemic rates in 24 states, particularly in the South and Midwest, according to new research that highlights the risk of a second wave of infections in places that reopen too quickly or without sufficient precautions.
Researchers at Imperial College London created a model that incorporates cellphone data showing that people sharply reduced their movements after stay-at-home orders were broadly imposed in March. With restrictions now easing and mobility increasing with the approach of the start of summer, the researchers developed an estimate of viral spread as of May 17.
This chart from the Imperial College published model shows the ranges of R0 (the rate of new infection spread) for each state. The goal is to get R0 beneath 1 – that is represented by the black vertical line. Note that some states that have rapid growth of new infections are well above that R0=1 line.