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Fauci says early signs of COVID-19 outbreak brewing in Ohio

The White House health advisor says the percentage of positive tests appears to be an early indication of a worsening outbreak.
Credit: AP
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stated Tuesday that there appear to be early signs that a COVID-19 outbreak could be brewing in Ohio, among three other states.

According to Dr. Fauci, the positivity rate, or percentage of tests run that come back positive, appear to be rising in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky, which could be an early indication that the outbreak is worsening. 

"That's a surefire sign that you've got to be reallly careful," Fauci said on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday. 

Fauci's warning comes a day after Ohio reportedly recorded a record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations on Monday "based on a seven-day average, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project."

"This current group of states...are the next set of states where we have significant concerns about the rising test positivity rate and the rising number of cases," White House health advisor Dr. Deborah Birx told reporters at a Kentucky press conference on Sunday. "We can see what is happening in the South moving North," Birx continued. 

COVID-19 outbreaks that ravaged the South in states such as Florida and Texas have recently showed signs of slowing down after states halted the roll out of reopening plans, CNBC reports. 

Fauci told ABC on Tuesday that states should follow the national guidelines that the White House coronavirus task force set forth earlier this year for reopening. "That really is the national strategy. This was the recommendation that was made," Fauci stated.