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Reopen Readiness Metric Tracker

As state and local governments seek to safely re-open businesses and public spaces, various organizations and government agencies have recommended a number of data-driven criteria to guide them. These have included, for example,

  • a maximum number of new daily cases per million people, with 20-40 per million per day considered manageable1;

  • a decline in new cases over the previous 14 days2;

  • a maximum share of tests that come back positive, with 10 percent or less indicative of sufficient testing3; and

  • flat-to-declining positive tests as a share of total tests4.

The map and charts below display continually updated data on these metrics. Click a state to zoom in to county-level data. Clicking a county zooms back out. Hover on a state or county to view details and trend charts. (State estimates generally conceal substantial county variation.)

New Cases per Million People9


New Daily Cases10
State & County Level
% of Tests Positive11
State-Level Only

Last Updated:

Sources
1. Wall Street Journal, citing Resolve to Save Lives' proposed threshold of 40 new cases per day per million; see: Center for American Progress, suggesting levels of approximately 20 new cases per million per day and declining; see also: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation with the most conservative recommendation of 1 case per million
2. White HouseAEIHeritage Foundation
3. World Health Organization (WHO), see also: NPR
4. White HouseResolve to Save Lives
5. Achieved by remaining under 40 new daily cases per million over the past 7 days.
6. Achieved by comparing number of additional daily cases in the latest 7 days to the previous 7 days over the 14-day period.
7. Achieved by consistently remaining under the 10% threshold for positive tests as a share of total test over the past 7 days. Note that WHO now recommends a positivity rate threshold of 5% or less for two weeks, and while that information may still be monitored in the state positivity rate chart, the tracker criteria maintains the 10% threshold for sake of consistency.
8. Achieved by comparing the average percent of daily positive tests as a share of total daily tests in the latest 7 days to the previous 7 days over the 14-day period.
9. Note that there is sometimes a delay of reporting which can make an entire state appear to have no new cases in the previous day; these generally appear by the next data update. Data anomalies sometimes occur when states change how they report, such as when large numbers of "Unassigned" cases are assigned to individual counties. Additionally, cumulative cases are sometimes revised down at the state and county levels, resulting in a negative change between days. Data from counties may not add up to state level changes due to unassigned and revised cases that are not mapped. New Cases per Million, New Cases, and Cumulative Cases are calculated at the state and county levels using the COVID-19 Data Repository by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. Population data from the Census Bureau (5-Year 2015-2019 data from ACS) is used in calculating New Cases per Million. Data on daily and cumulative deaths are from the COVID-19 Data Repository by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. Vaccination data is from the CDC's COVID Data Tracker. Data used to determine the state positivity rate and the state-level 4-point checklist is from The Department of Health and Human Services and the COVID-19 Data Repository by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. Data used to determine the county-level 2-point checklist is from the COVID-19 Data Repository by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
10. COVID-19 Data Repository by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University The JHU CSSE COVID-19 data repository FAQ notes that deaths for Dukes and Nantucket counties are aggregated together. Additionally, data for less populated counties in Utah were combined into regional groups, which concealed case and death data at the county level for most counties in Utah. The total cases and deaths for each regional group are now divided evenly among counties within a respective regional group, and the total population of the regional group is averaged to create a denominator for the new cases per million estimate. Thus, each county within a regional group displays the same information—the regional group average for cases, deaths, and cases per million. The Utah regional groups and their respective counties are as follows: Bear River (Box Elder, Cache, and Rich counties); Weber-Morgan (Weber and Morgan counties); TriCounty (Duchesne, Uintah and Daggett counties); Central Utah (Sevier, Millard, Juab, Sanpete, Wayne and Piute counties); Southwest Utah (Beaver, Iron, Washington, Kane and Garfield counties); and Southeast Utah (Grand, Emery and Carbon counties). Utah counties with individual metrics include: Davis, San Juan, Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele, Utah and Wasatch. In addition, the New York Times COVID-19 data repository notes that Rhode Island only reports deaths at the state level. Additionally, in Alaska, data for Bristol Bay Borough includes data for Lake and Peninsula Borough, and similarly, data for Yakutat City and Borough includes data for Hoonah-Angoon Census Area. This tracker has also combined the separately-reported Kansas City municipality cases and deaths with corresponding data from Jackson County, MO.
11. Department of Health and Human Services