Special Report

States Where the Virus is Growing the Fastest Right Now

As of May 6, more than 1.2 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the United States, and more than 75,000 people have died from the disease. Both the confirmed cases and deaths in the U.S. are the highest in the world and widely considered to be underestimates. The virus continues to infect 20,000 to 30,000 people nationwide each day.

In some states, daily new cases appear to be peaking. For example, New York, the state with by far the most cases per capita, has reported in each of the last seven days slightly fewer new cases than the day before. Still, an average of 22 cases were reported for every 100,000 people in New York every day last week — more than all but three other states.

Similar to New York, about half of states reported declining daily new cases over the past seven days, which suggests they may be peaking, at their peak, or past the peak. Still, despite the decline, some of these states have been hard hit by the virus that they are still reporting far more new daily cases than other states that were not as hard hit. For example, while daily cases in Massachusetts have slowed over the past few days, the state still reported an average of new 1,876 cases every day — or nearly 30 for every 100,000 state residents.

24/7 Wall St. compiled and reviewed the numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths for the seven days through May 6 from state and local health departments. To determine the states where the number of confirmed cases per capita is growing the fastest right now, we calculated the average number of new cases per day between April 30 and May 6 in each state for every 100,000 people. This is one of many measurements used to gauge the spread of the virus, and it is important to note it is different from our approach last week.

Even as case numbers continue to rise in every state, most states are currently undergoing partial reopening or have plans set to reopen their economies soon, phasing out stay-at-home orders and easing other measures.

In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Mark Siedner, associate professor of infectious diseases at Harvard University and clinician at Massachusetts General Hospital, said, “most of us in the medical community would feel better about reopening if it was done in parallel with the knowledge about effective, preventative or therapeutic treatment.”

Many of the hardest hit states, notably New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, have plans to keep nonessential businesses closed and to maintain statewide stay-at-home orders at least through the second half of May.

Other states that are actively planning on easing restrictions are also reporting some of the largest increases. In Minnesota, where Gov. Tim Walz opted to allow select businesses to resume operations on April 27, the number of new cases per day rose in each of the last four days. These are the states with the highest number of COVID-19 cases.

Click here to see the states where the virus is growing the fastest right now