Trump Administration to Create Coronavirus Risk Assessment for Counties

The Trump administration plans to introduce a risk assessment system that could guide social distancing requirements in counties throughout the country.

President Trump notified state governors of the coming tool on Thursday. It would classify counties as high, medium, or low risk. The designation would determine recommended social distancing guidelines for an area.

The main challenge for a county-by-county risk assessment is lack of data. The U.S. has only tested around 400,000 people for coronavirus. That’s roughly 0.1% of the population. It would need to conduct more testing to have an accurate view of risk in the nation’s 3,000+ counties.

The Trump administration has been looking for ways to reopen parts of the economy, despite rising infections and fatalities. A risk assessment system could influence state and local governments’ social distancing measures but, ultimately, the decision to send people back to work would be up to them.