Special Report

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

Evidence continues to mount that the surge in COVID-19 cases that began earlier in the summer is subsiding. On Aug. 30, 36,939 new cases were reported across the U.S., just over half the 68,543 cases reported July 30. However, new daily cases remain relatively high, and the figures at the end of August are similar to those recorded during the pandemic’s earlier peak in the spring that led to business closures and other social distancing measures, many of which have since been relaxed. And while the spread has been slowing in many parts of the country, it has actually increased in a number of states in the most recent week. 

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. 30 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 13.7 per 100,000 during the week ending Aug. 23 to 12.6 per 100,000 in the week ending Aug. 30, a decrease of 1.1 daily new cases per 100,000 people. In nine states, the average number of daily new cases declined by at least 2 per 100,000, week-over-week. Meanwhile, nine states reported an increase of at least 2 cases per 100,000. 

The states that recorded the largest decreases in the average number of daily new cases per capita are primarily in the South and West, many of which reported surges in June and July. Even after reporting declines in new cases over the past several weeks, these states still, for the most part, have more daily cases per capita than most states, although many have moved out of the top 10.. 

This includes Texas, which reported a nation-leading decline of 6.4 cases, from 23.8 per 100,000 residents to 17.4 per 100,000. After that decrease, the state moved from having the third most new daily COVID-19 cases per capita to having the 12th most. According to one estimate, Texas reached its peak for active infections on Aug. 25, but many other states are not projected to reach their peak for weeks, and in some cases months. Here is the estimated COVID peak date for every state. 

Several of the states with the largest reported increases in daily new cases are in the Midwest. In South Dakota, for example, average daily new cases increased from 13.5 per 100,000 residents the week before, the 20th most among states, to 23.4 per 100,000 residents, the fifth most. All three of the metro areas with the largest week-over-week increases in new daily cases are in the Midwest as well. Here are the cities where COVID-19 is growing the fastest. 

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.

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