It has been about two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. And while the highly transmissible omicron variant sent infection rates soaring to all-time highs in January 2021, the recent wave seems to be subsiding as cases are dropping nationwide.
But just as the U.S. has surpassed 900,000 deaths in early February, chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci told the Financial Times the U.S. is exiting the “full blown” pandemic phase of COVID-19. The virus would be more manageable thanks to vaccinations, treatments, and prior infection. (These are the states getting the most COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government.)
Fauci further predicted that soon many pandemic-related restrictions would end. Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Feb. 25, changes to its mask wearing guidelines, allowing most Americans not to wear a mask indoors.
To find the most dangerous state for COIVD-19, 24/7 Wall St. ranked states by average daily cases over the most recent seven days per 100,000 people, using data from federal, state, and local sources as of Feb. 28.
Currently, Maine ranks as the most dangerous state for the virus, with 2,750 average daily new cases in the last seven days, or 205 daily cases for every 100,000 people. Maine is also the only state where cases grew over the past two weeks, with a 14-day change in average new cases of nearly 165%.
This compares to Nebraska, which reported an average of 202 new daily cases in the past seven days, or 10 cases per 100,000 — the fewest. Cases in Nebraska dropped 76% in the past 14 days. (COVID-19: These are the states fighting it most successfully.)
Other states with relatively high COVID-19 infection rates in recent days include Idaho, Montana, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Still, cases in all these states have declined compared to 14 days ago. Encouragingly, the average number of new daily cases has fallen in all states but one, Maine.
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