Special Report

States With the Highest Number of COVID-19 Cases

Since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic, roughly 1 in every 100 Americans have been diagnosed with the virus — 3.2 million cases total. Yet these cases are far from evenly distributed. Just seven states account for over 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 since the outbreak began, to determine the states with the highest number of confirmed cases per capita. We calculated the total number of COVID-19 diagnoses per 100,000 residents since the start of the outbreak in each state using one-year population data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey. Data is as of July 12 for all states except for Delaware and Oregon, for which data is as of July 10.

New York and New Jersey still lead the nation in cumulative COVID-19 diagnoses per 100,000 residents, as they have since the pandemic began. Both states were hit especially hard in March and April. A month ago, the Northeast was home to all five states with the most cases per capita. However, as cases have begun to spike in the South and the West, states like Massachusetts and Connecticut no longer rank in the top five.

In mid-June, Arizona had the 22nd highest number of cases per capita with just under 500 cases per 100,000 residents. As of July 12, cases in the state more had than tripled to over 1,700 cases per 100,000 residents, and the Western state now ranks third in the nation. For comparison, the number of cases in New York and New Jersey rose by less than 100 per 100,000 residents during that same time period.

Many other states, nearly all of which are located in the South, have seen a similar increase in cases over the past month. In many cases, these states ranked among the states with the fewest cases per capita a month ago, but now they rank among the highest. These increases have been driven in large part by the numerous major metro areas within these states that have doubled their share of cases just in the last two weeks. These are the cities where COVID-19 cases have doubled in the past 14 days.

This recent increase in cases may be due at least in part to relaxed social distancing rules as states have been reopening their economies. Now, governors of many of these states have been forced to either abandon further reopening plans or even reimpose some previous rules that limit social gatherings, mandate mask wearing, and reduce indoor capacities at certain businesses. These are every state’s rules for staying open and social distancing.

Click here to see the states with the highest number of COVID-19 cases