Special Report

States With the Most Cases of COVID-19

Despite the ongoing vaccination effort, new daily cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in much of the United States.

Since the first known case was identified in the U.S. on Jan. 21, 2020, there have been a total of 48,982,600 reported cases of COVID-19 nationwide — or 14,972 per 100,000 people. Of course, infections are not evenly spread across the country, and some states have far higher infections rates per capita than others. The number of confirmed cases per 100,000 people ranges from as low as 6,013 to as high as 21,758, depending on the state.

The severity of a COVID-19 outbreak across a given state is subject to a wide range of factors. Still, states that had a hands-off approach in the early days of the pandemic are more likely to be worse off today than those that adopted strict measures to control the spread. Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming were the only states that did not issue a statewide stay-at-home order in March or early April — and of those states, all eight currently have a higher infection rate than the U.S. as a whole.

All COVID-19 data used in this story are current as of Dec. 8, 2021.

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