Special Report

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

Public health experts anticipate that the winter months will usher in a surge of new COVID-19 cases. A meaningful spike in the infection rate may have arrived sooner than predicted, however. With the first day of winter still about two months away, nearly every state is reporting an uptick in new cases of the virus every day. 

After over a month with fewer than 50,000 new cases per day — the longest stretch since June — cases began rising again in mid-October, with about 56,000 new infections reported on Oct. 20. Last week, there was an average of about 17 new cases of the virus each day for every 100,000 Americans — up from about 14 new daily cases per 100,000 people just one week prior. In some states, the increase has been far more dramatic. 

Using data from state and local health departments, 24/7 Wall St. calculated each state’s average of new daily COVID-19 cases for the week ending Oct. 20 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 has relatively unchanged, and where it is still increasing. In Texas, COVID-19 data is current as of Oct. 19.

The severity of the increase in new daily cases of the coronavirus varies by region. Six of the 10 hardest hit states are in the Midwest and the remaining four are in the West. 

The two states that reported the largest increases in new daily cases of the virus per capita — North Dakota and South Dakota — also happen to be the states with the most cases overall on a per capita basis. Neither state issued a stay-at-home-order, like most others did in the early days of the pandemic, to help contain the virus’ spread. Here is a look at standing COVID restrictions — or lack there of — in each state.

Click here to see the states where the virus is getting worse

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