The spread of COVID-19 has accelerated quickly in the past month. Fatal cases in the United States reached 310,253 yesterday, up by 4,239 in a day. Confirmed cases rose 267,127 to 17,017,278.
All these figures are bound to soar. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine has one of the most carefully followed and widely regarded COVID-19 prediction models for deaths, daily infections, testing, mask use, hospital resource use and social distancing. Its scientists forecast that 509,000 Americans will die by April 1, if Americans do not take more aggressive measures to arrest the spread of the disease.
The 310,253 fatal cases compare to the U.S. population of 328,239,523 in 2019, according to the U.S. Census. That means COVID-19 deaths have started to approach one out of every 1,000 Americans. At the rate that fatal cases have grown recently, that ratio may only be a week away for the country.
The spread of the disease and the number of fatal cases vary widely from state to state. One means of measurement that adjusts for differences in state populations is deaths per 1,000 people. That figure is highest in New Jersey at 2.0. It is lowest in Vermont, Hawaii, Maine and Alaska at 0.2.
The fatal case rate is above 1 in 1,000 people in 18 states. Most should not be a surprise. They are a combination of the states hit hardest early in March and April, and those hit hardest now. This second group continues to be ravaged by the disease. The group of states hit early has started to see cases and deaths rise sharply again. These are the states where over 20,000 people have died from COVID-19.
New Jersey was hit so hard largely because of its proximity to New York City, the epicenter of the spread of the disease in March and April. New York State sits high on the list at 1.4 deaths per 1,000 for the same reason. Connecticut, also close by, has a rate of 1.5 now.
Several states where the death toll has risen quickly in recent weeks make the list of those with coronavirus death rates of over 1 per 1,000. South Dakota makes the cutoff with 1.4. North Dakota’s figure is 1.5, and so is Rhode Island’s.
The list of states with over 1 death per 1,000 will grow quickly. With luck, by the end of winter, most states will not be on it.
These are the states where more than 1 in 1,000 people have died of COVID-19.
State Population Deaths Deaths per 1,000
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