Special Report

States Where COVID-19 Cases Have Doubled Since Last Month

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13. Virginia
> Total population: 8,517,685
> Increase of COVID-19 confirmed cases May 14 – June 22: 120.9% (from 26,469 to 58,465 total cases)
> Tests completed as of June 22: 11,367 per 100,000 people — 21st highest (555,607 total tests)
> Positive test rate: 10.5% — 11th highest
> Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of June 22: 19 per 100,000 — 21st highest (total: 1,620)

New daily coronavirus cases in Virginia peaked on May 26, with 1,615. A day later the state mandated face masks in public. Virginia reported the highest number of deaths on May 28, at 57. Though the spread of new cases has slowed down, the total number of COVID-19 cases increased about 120% between May 14 and June 22.

The state will enter phase 3 of reopening on July 1, Gov. Ralph Northam announced on June 23. In phase 3, the limit on social gatherings will be raised to 250 from 50. Restaurants and retail businesses will be permitted to operate at full capacity. Northern Virginia entered phase 2 of reopening on June 12 and the rest of the state reached that phase a week earlier.

12. Wisconsin
> Total population: 5,813,568
> Increase of COVID-19 confirmed cases May 14 – June 22: 122.3% (from 11,275 to 25,068 total cases)
> Tests completed as of June 22: 16,315 per 100,000 people — 15th highest (491,702 total tests)
> Positive test rate: 5.1% — 17th lowest
> Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of June 22: 13 per 100,000 — 21st lowest (total: 745)

A spike of new coronavirus cases in Wisconsin was reported as early as May 28, only two weeks after the state’s sudden reopening. The reopening followed a decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court on May 13 that struck down the state’s stay-at-home order. All restrictions were then lifted. Some districts imposed their own stay-at-home orders, though most lapsed in May and the beginning of June. The number of new COVID-19 confirmed cases a day has been increasing since.

On June 18, Wisconsin reported 422 new cases, the highest number of new confirmed cases in over two weeks.

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11. Florida
> Total population: 21,299,325
> Increase of COVID-19 confirmed cases May 14 – June 22: 131.9% (from 43,210 to 100,217 total cases)
> Tests completed as of June 22: 12,638 per 100,000 people — 19th highest (1,618,540 total tests)
> Positive test rate: 6.2% — 24th lowest
> Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of June 22: 15 per 100,000 — 24th lowest (total: 3,173)

Florida’s stay-at-home order expired on May 4, as the Sunshine State became one of the first to reopen. Beaches reopened for essential activities in parts of the state on April 17. Retail stores and restaurants in all but the most populous counties reopened at 25% capacity at the end of April. More restrictions have been eased since then, and the number of new COVID-19 cases has been spiking.

June 22 was the 20th straight day with new cases near or over 1,000 per day. On June 18, the state set a record of 3,207 new cases in a single day, up from the previous record of 2,783 cases set two days earlier. Gov. Ron DeSantis has ruled out closing businesses and enacting a new stay-at-home order again.

10. Wyoming
> Total population: 577,737
> Increase of COVID-19 confirmed cases May 14 – June 22: 132.5% (from 529 to 1,230 total cases)
> Tests completed as of June 22: 505 per 100,000 people — 4th lowest (36,228 total tests)
> Positive test rate: 3.4% — 9th lowest
> Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of June 22: 3 per 100,000 — 4th lowest (total: 20)

Wyoming is among a handful of states that never issued a statewide stay-at-home order. Gyms, barbershops, hair salons, and other personal care services businesses reopened on May 1 with limits on the number of customers in a facility. Outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people have been allowed since June 1, though people must practice social distancing.

Wyoming is now seeing a statewide spike of new COVID-19 cases. A recent spike in Uinta County was attributed to a large social gathering of young people who were not following social distancing guidelines. In general, according to local health officials, many people are not wearing masks or practicing social distancing as they should be.

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9. Minnesota
> Total population: 5,611,179
> Increase of COVID-19 confirmed cases May 14 – June 22: 147.3% (from 13,435 to 33,227 total cases)
> Tests completed as of June 22: 8,492 per 100,000 people — 24th highest (513,137 total tests)
> Positive test rate: 6.5% — 25th highest
> Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of June 22: 25 per 100,000 — 17th highest (total: 1,384)

Minnesota entered phase 3 of its reopening plan on June 10, allowing many businesses to increase occupancy. In June, the state has been seeing a wave pattern of new COVID-19 cases with days of decline followed by days of increase. Overall, the number of total coronavirus cases has jumped by 147% between May 14 and June 22. The number of total coronavirus-related deaths has also more than doubled in the same period, from 663 to 1,384.

Some business owners have been very unhappy with the governor’s executive orders intended to contain the coronavirus. A boxing gym, a yoga studio and a small business coalition filed suit challenging the executive orders. Gov. Tim Walz and Attorney General Keith Ellison, both Democrats, have asked a county court to dismiss the lawsuit. A hearing is set for July 16.