U.S. health authorities have reported at least 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases each day since Nov. 4, including a single day record high of over 194,000 on Nov. 27 — the day after Thanksgiving. Health experts cautioned ahead of the holiday that traveling home to visit family could trigger another surge of the virus.
Though the number of people who test positive for the virus per capita is decreasing in half the states, every state except for one has at least one county in which daily new cases per 100,000 are growing.
Using data from state and local health departments, 24/7 Wall St. compiled and reviewed county-level COVID-19 data. We compared the average of daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases for the week ending Nov. 29 and compared it to the previous week to determine the county in each state where the virus is spreading the fastest, adjusted for the population. Every state has at least one county or county equivalent in which cases have grown over the past week. We excluded counties with populations of fewer than 5,000 people as well as those with fewer than 20 reported new cases in the past 14 days.
Nationwide, there were 57.1 confirmed cases per 100,000 Americans for the week ending Nov. 29, an increase from 48.5 cases per 100,000 the week before. In 41 states there is at least one county reporting a higher weekly increase in the number of cases per capita than the nationwide increase of 8.6 per 100,000. In five states, the county with the largest increase in cases reported a weekly surge of more than 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.
In many counties, the pandemic has stretched hospitals and health care centers — that were already struggling — to the limit. In many parts of the country, health care infrastructure is at risk of being overwhelmed as there may be just one hospital to serve over 100,000 patients. These are the counties with the fewest hospitals.