There have been nearly 1.8 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States, and at least 100,000 people have died. COVID-19 cases have mostly concentrated in densely-populated states. Most states have fewer than 20,000 confirmed cases, but five states have over 100,000 confirmed cases — accounting for nearly half of all U.S. cases.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on confirmed COVID-19 cases as reported by local and state government health agencies as of June 1, 2020, to determine the states with the highest number of confirmed cases per capita. We calculated the confirmed cases for every 100,000 people in each state using one-year population data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey. Data is as of June 1 for all states except for New Hampshire and Connecticut, for which data is for May 31.
Many of the states with the most COVID-19 cases per capita are still seeing their cases per capita increase more quickly than other states, particularly among states in the Northeast, where a large share of cases have been concentrated since the beginning of the outbreak. The U.S. averaged 6.3 new cases per 100,000 daily from May 26 through June 1. States like Maryland, Virginia, and Rhode Island have more than doubled that. Several Midwestern states like Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, and Minnesota also now rank among the 10 states with the highest share of new infections per 100,000. These are the states where the virus is growing the fastest right now.
With no vaccine or treatment available, experts say the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent infections is to maintain social distancing. States have had to weigh the need to keep people at home against the economic damage such prolonged social distancing measures will have on their state. Most governors have opted to slowly reopen their economies, with some restrictions. These are every state’s rules on staying at home and social distancing.