As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to increase in the United States, health organizations and government officials are continuing to recommend that the most at-risk populations take extra precautions to avoid getting sick.
More than 600,000 people in the United States had been diagnosed with COVID-19 as of Thursday April 16 — by far the most confirmed cases of any country in the world. According to data from April 15 compiled by The COVID Tracking Project, a little over 58,000 COVID-19 patients in the U.S. are currently hospitalized.
Much more testing and research is needed to understand the high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. A CDC study of some 1,500 infected patients in March found that older adults have elevated rates of COVID-19-associated hospitalization and that the majority of persons hospitalized with COVID-19 have underlying medical conditions.
The share of each state’s population at significant risk of severe illness varies considerably across the country, and the virus continues to spread at different rates. These are the states where the virus is spreading the fastest right now.
To identify how many adults in every state are at risk of serious illness if infected with COVID-19, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the report “How Many Adults Are at Risk of Serious Illness If Infected with Coronavirus?” published in March and updated in April 2020. The report was published by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit health care policy organization.
Approximately 37.6% of U.S. residents aged 18 and older, about 92.6 million people, were identified by the KFF as having a higher risk of developing serious illness from exposure to the coronavirus. Just over half of this group, about 51.1 million adults, are 65 and older. The remaining 41.4 million adults ages 18 to 64 are considered at risk due to having one of the following underlying medical conditions: heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), uncontrolled asthma, diabetes, or a BMI greater than 40.