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Birx: Boston And Others Seeing Coronavirus Uptick Need To 'Get On Top Of It'

BOSTON (CBS/CNN) -- The White House coronavirus task force is warning states about an uptick in coronavirus test positivity rates in a number of new cities this week. Task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx called out the Boston metro area as one of the cities of concern.

"We are seeing a slow uptick in test positivity in cases in places like Chicago, Boston and Detroit and DC," she said, adding that the virus has entered a new phase.

She said those areas had been doing relatively well in the fight against the pandemic, but they need to "get on top of it."

Boston has seen 440 new coronavirus cases reported in the past two weeks, according to the latest weekly report from the state. That's up from the report released last week that said there were 296 new cases over a 14-day period.

Gov. Charlie Baker said this week that Massachusetts has "seen some slippage" and he's considering tightening restrictions on businesses and social gatherings if the trend continues.

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Birx made her comments on a private phone call with state and local officials Wednesday. A recording was released by the journalism non-profit Center for Public Integrity.

She also cited concerning coronavirus numbers in Baltimore, Atlanta, Kansas City, Portland, Omaha and California's Central Valley.

"This outbreak is different from the March, April outbreak in that it's in both rural and urban areas," Birx said.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman contributed to this report.)

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