Special Report

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

As the U.S. continues to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of daily new cases has continued to fluctuate. After the initial spike in cases in March and April, the number of daily new cases declined, only to surge again in the summer. Though cases have since leveled off nationwide, hotspots have continued to emerge across the country even as many states and areas have seemed to gain control over the outbreak.

After several weeks of increases, average daily new cases reported across the U.S. decreased in the week ending Oct. 4 compared to the previous week. Despite this decline, 37 states reported a week-over-week increase in daily average cases.

Using data from state and local health departments, 24/7 Wall St. calculated for each states the average of new daily confirmed COVID-19 cases for the week ending Oct. 4 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. Data was current as of Oct. 4 for every state except for Oklahoma, for which data was current as of Oct. 3.

Health authorities reported a daily average of 12.8 new cases per 100,000 American residents for the week ending Oct. 4, down from 13.1 per 100,000 the week before. Despite the national decline, 37 states reported a higher average of daily new cases this most recent week compared to the one before. This is in part because the three most populous states — California, Texas, and Florida — recorded declines in their average daily cases per capita, while the largest spikes were recorded in states with fewer than 2 million people.

Cases nationwide may be declining at least in part because states reacted to case increases in September by imposing restrictions on gatherings, bars and restaurants, and travel from other states. Nearly half of U.S. states have travel restrictions or recommendations for travelers, such as mandatory quarantines, health questionnaires, or testing requirements. This is a state by state guide for traveling during the pandemic.

As the pandemic continues into the fall, states must also decide how best to safely reopen schools, whether that means having all classes online, in-person, or a hybrid model mixing the two. Many governors have deferred to district superintendents to decide how teaching should proceed. This is how schools are managing coronavirus in every state.

Click here to see the states where the virus spread is slowing and where it is still getting worse.