If you’re having second thoughts about your holiday travel plans, you’re in good company. Many Americans have already canceled their Thanksgiving trips after a stern CDC advisory. The ones who didn’t want to know: How dangerous is it, really?
It depends where you’re headed. Some destinations are more hazardous than others when it comes to COVID-19 infections. I’ve obtained an exclusive list of the most dangerous places in America that could help you make your decision.
Kinsa, a public health company, predicts COVID-19 outbreaks an average of 10 days before they happen. It uses data from a network of more than two million smart thermometers and accompanying mobile applications, plus publicly available COVID-19 case numbers, to make its forecasts.
Kinsa’s latest projections suggest that in the next week, there will be “critical” hotspots in Colorado, Michigan, and Illinois. I also asked the company for the safest places (which it terms “moderate” risk areas). And there’s good news if you’re in parts of California.
The red states of America
Most of the United States is a high-risk red zone for the next 10 days. The map has shifted in the last 48 hours. Here’s what it looked like on Thursday morning, which I reported in my newsletter, Elliott Confidential:
And here it is now:
Unless you’re in Virginia, Vermont or Maine, you’re in a red zone.
By the way, you can view the risk in your county on Kinsa’s HealthWeather.
(Even though the pandemic has changed travel in some positive ways, you may still need some help cancellinig your Thanksgiving travel plans. I run a nonprofit consumer advocacy site that can help with that. Here’s how to contact us.)
I asked Kinsa to pull data on the most high-risk counties in the U.S. And here’s where it gets interesting.
Most dangerous counties in America for Thanksgiving travel
These counties are rated as a “critical” risk for COVID-19 infection.
Denver County, which was ranked 7th only 48 hours ago, is now the most high-risk area. The Chicago suburbs (Will County and Cook County) are problematic, too. Among cities, Grand Rapids, El Paso and Salt Lake City are also in a bad place. If you’re planning to head there for the holidays, you may want to consider a delay.
Safest counties in America for Thanksgiving travel
These counties are rated a “moderate” risk for COVID-19 infection. That doesn’t mean that they’re safe and this list should not be seen as an endorsement to travel.
Several northern California counties are in a relatively good place. Still not great, with cases projected to rise by up to 53 percent. But less awful than parts of the midwestern United States.
What this means for you
Kinsa says people should think carefully about whether