The White House Coronavirus Task Force sees troubling COVID-19 numbers in 10 local areas across the country, including Omaha, according to a report published by the Center for Public Integrity.

The report cites a private call between task force leader Dr. Deborah Birx and state and local officials Wednesday.

“We are seeing encouraging signs across the South,” Birx said on a recording of the call obtained by nonprofit newsroom based in Washington, D.C. “We are concerned that both Baltimore and Atlanta remain at a very high level — [also] Kansas City, Portland, Omaha [and] of course what we talked about in the Central Valley [of California].”

Birx then pointed to four additional cities that are doing relatively well — Boston, Chicago, Detroit and Washington, D.C.  — and yet are seeing small increases in the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests, according to White House data. Those areas need to “get on top of it,” she said.

Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia are also “concerning,” Birx said. She continued to emphasize that the current outbreaks differed from those in the spring because they’ve penetrated more rural areas. She said similar things over the weekend, telling CNN that the pandemic had entered a “new phase.” 

Douglas County's positivity rate jumped from 7 per cent in mid-July to 11 percent the last two weeks, according to the local health department's website.

According to a report from FOX News, the President has announced that Birx would visit Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas and would bring "aggressive, tailored and targeted guidance" for state and local leaders.

A staff member in Gov. Pete Ricketts' office said they do not have any information about a visit by Birx, according to the Omaha World-Herald.