Special Report

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

Since peaking in July, the spread of COVID-19 cases appears to be slowing across the U.S. Through the first 13 days of August, U.S. health authorities reported 10 days of over 50,000 daily new cases of COVID-19. Through September’s first 13 days, there was just one day with over 50,000 new daily COVID-19 cases. 

For the week ending Sept. 6, there was an average of 12.6 new daily cases per 100,000 residents nationwide. During the week ending Sept. 13, the average declined to 10.9 cases per 100,000. Most states are reporting fewer cases per capita, but not all — a dozen states had more COVID-19 cases in the past week than they did 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. 13 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. 13 for all states except Oregon, for which data is through Sept. 11.

While a declining trend in COVID-19 cases is good news, the states in which cases per capita declined the most week over week reported some of the highest case counts per capita during those weeks. The three states that reported the most rapid decline in their average daily cases also reported an average of more than 18 daily new cases per 100,000 the week ending in Sept. 13 — well above the nationwide average of 10.9 per 100,000 and among the top 10 states.

In 16 states, the week-over-week decline in average daily new cases per capita was greater than the U.S. decline of 1.7 cases per 100,000 residents. Nine of these states are in the South, four in the Midwest, and were in the West. 

Most Northeastern states reported very little week-over-week change in their average of daily cases per capita. The spread of COVID-19 remains fairly low in that part of the country. All six of the states that averaged fewer than 4 daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents from Sept. 7-13 are in the Northeastern part of the country.

Though the Northeastern states tend to have fewer COVID-19 cases per capita than those in other parts of the country, many of the cities in the area are struggling with the economic fallout from the pandemic. Over a dozen Northeastern cities have unemployment rates in excess of 14%. These are the cities with the worst COVID-19 unemployment crisis right now.

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