Special Report

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

The slowing of COVID-19’s spread in the United States appears to have continued last week. During the first week of September, from Sept. 1-7, there was just one day in which the U.S. recorded more than 50,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases. In the first seven days of August, there were six such days. 

While the spread appears to be slowing across the nation, the majority of states reported an increase in confirmed cases per capita in the past week compared to the week before.

 Using data from state and local health departments, 24/7 Wall St. calculated average new daily confirmed COVID-19 cases for the week ending Sept. 7 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. Case and death count data is through Sept. 7 for all states except Oregon, for which data is through Sept. 6.

For the week ending on Sept. 7, there were an average of 12.5 confirmed infections per day per 100,000 people nationwide, down from 12.7 per 100,000 the week before, and 13.3 per 100,000 the week before that.

In 25 states, the rate of the virus’ spread changed marginally compared to last week — with average daily growth either dropping by less than 1 confirmed case per 100,000 per day, or increasing by less than 1 per 100,000. In eight states, average daily infections increased by 2 or more per 100,000 in the week ending Sept. 7 compared to the week before. Four of these states are in the South, and four are in the Midwest. 

Northeastern states like New York and New Jersey were hit hardest by the pandemic in its early days in March and April. Though new daily cases have dropped in the region since, nationwide new daily cases began to spike again in June, with Southern and Western states comprising many of the states in which the virus was spreading the fastest. Now it appears that in Midwestern states the virus is spreading the fastest. 

Of the 10 states with the highest week-over-week increase in new daily cases per capita, five are in the Midwest, including the only two states in which cases increased by a daily average of more than 4 cases per 100,000. Just two of the dozen Midwestern states reported a week-over-week decrease in average daily cases. Many of these states are seeing increases due at least in part to cases spiking in large college towns. Some Midwestern metro areas home to major universities have reported week-over-week increases in excess of 10 cases per 100,000 residents. These 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)

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