Special Report

States Where the Virus Is Spreading the Fastest

Yet another set of promising results for a COVID-19 vaccine were released on Monday, with a third potential vaccine in as many weeks showing signs of being highly effective. The vaccine, developed in collaboration by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, appears to be less effective than the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines but is likely easier and cheaper to produce. This latest announcement comes as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge nationwide, with more than 260,000 Americans now dead and the daily death count rising above 1,500. 

Since Nov. 4, at least 100,000 new cases of the virus have been reported every day in the United States. A record 187,600 cases were reported on Nov. 20., more than five times the highest single-day total reported during the pandemic’s first wave in March and April.

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 Nov. 22 and compared it to the average from the previous week to determine the states where the spread of the coronavirus is increasing the fastest. The results show that new COVID-19 cases are increasing week-over-week in all but four states, and they are increasing at a dramatic rate in many. 

While daily new cases have been surging nationwide over the past few weeks, the most extreme increases have occurred in the Midwest, notably in the Dakotas. For the first time in many weeks, however, the Dakotas were not among the states seeing the largest increases in new daily cases per capita. South Dakota’s new cases count actually decreased, week-over-week. Both states, however, still rank in the top three for new cases per capita.

Nationwide, the number of new daily cases per 100,000 residents rose by 9, from roughly 40  per 100,000 in the week ending Nov. 15 to nearly 49 per 100,000 in the week ending Nov. 22. In five states, the number of new cases increased by more than 20 new cases per 100,000 residents, and in one state by more than 40. These are the states where COVID-19 has doubled in just two months.

Click here to see the states where the virus is growing the fastest.