Special Report

States Where the Virus Spread Is Slowing (and Where It’s Still Getting Worse)

After a surge in coronavirus cases that began in June and continued through most of July, it appears that the growth in new cases nationwide has leveled off. On Aug. 16, the U.S. reported Just over 40,000 new cases, after well exceeding 50,000 daily cases for most of July. While it is possible the increase in new cases has subsided, at least for now, the number of infected people remains very high in several states. And while the spread has been slowing in a number of states, it has been rising over the last week in more than a dozen. 

Using data from state and local health departments, 24/7 Wall St. compiled and reviewed the average of new daily confirmed COVID-19 cases for the week ending Aug. 16 and compared it to the average from the previous week to determine the states where the spread of the coronavirus is declining the fastest, where it is remaining relatively unchanged, and where it is still increasing.  

The average number of new daily cases per capita in the United States fell slightly, from 17.5 per 100,000 during the week ending Aug. 9 to 15.3 per 100,000 in the week ending Aug. 16, a decrease of 2.2 daily new cases per 100,000 people. In roughly a dozen states, the average number of daily new cases declined by at least 2 per 100,000, week-over-week, including one with a reported decrease of 12.3 daily cases, week-over-week. Meanwhile, five states reported an increase of at least 1 case per 100,000. 

Starting Aug. 12, Massachusetts began excluding probable COVID-19 cases and deaths from its official COVID-19 case and death counts. As a result, we excluded Massachusetts from all growth calculations. Oregon’s data is as of Aug. 14.

The states that recorded the largest decreases in the number of daily new cases per capita are states in the South and West, many of which reported surges in June and July. Even after reporting declines in new cases over the past week, these states still, for the most part, have among the most daily cases per capita. These include Louisiana, which reported a decline of 12.3 cases, from 38.0 per 100,000 residents to 25.8 per 100,000. After that decrease, the state still has the sixth-most new daily COVID-19 cases per capita. 

Even as the state figure has been declining, Louisiana still has one metro area reporting a substantial increase in new cases. Here are the cities where COVID-19 is growing the fastest.

Click here to see the states where the virus spread is slowing (and where it’s still getting worse)