Special Report

States Where the Virus Is Spreading the Fastest

On Sunday, Nov. 29, the TSA said it screened nearly 1.2 million people in American airports, the largest single-day total since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Thanksgiving travel period occurred in the midst of what was already the worst spike since the outbreak began, with a record 194,317 new cases reported on Nov. 27. Because it can take up to two weeks for a person to begin showing symptoms after contracting the virus, it will be some time before the effects of the holiday on the already highly stressed U.S. health care system will be known. 

With multiple vaccines now being finalized and the first Americans set to be inoculated within weeks, the question has become: how much worse will things get before they start to get better. More than 270,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19, and since Nov. 4, at least 100,000 new cases have been reported every day. 

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. 29 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 good news: The results show that for the first time in more than a month, the number of new COVID-19 cases decreased in half the states. The bad news: Most of the states reporting a  decrease in new daily cases are states that have been reporting skyrocketing new cases for weeks, and where new case numbers still remain very high.

For example, nationwide, the number of new daily cases per 100,000 residents rose by 1 case per 100,000 residents, from roughly 49 per 100,000 in the week ending Nov. 22 just over 50 per 100,000 in the week ending Nov. 29. North Dakota recorded a decline of more than 36 daily cases per 100,000 residents. However, even after that decline, the state still had 141 new cases per 100,000 people in the week ending Nov. 29, by far the worst of any state. 

As the latest surge of the virus has set back reopenings in the private sector, a number of states have had to reintroduce stricter travel guidelines. These are the latest COVID-19 travel restrictions in every state.

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