Special Report

This Is the Most Dangerous State for COVID-19

It seems that worries other than COVID-19 are occupying Americans these days – the economy, the war in Ukraine, and most of all inflation. The pandemic seems to have taken a back seat, perhaps understandably. Cases have been dropping nationwide, and hospitalizations hit a new low as of March 31, with just over 16,000 people in the hospital. This is a far cry from the peak of nearly 160,000 set in January during the omicron surge, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services.

One concerning factor could be that cases are again surging in some parts of the world, particularly Europe and China, due to the highly contagious BA.2 omicron subvariant. In the U.S., too, BA.2 is now the dominant coronavirus strain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Still, while White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said BA.2 could cause an increase in cases in the U.S., he does not expect another surge. 

The situation remains different from state to state, with cases increasing in some states and trending lower in others. To find the most dangerous state for COVID-19, 24/7 Tempo ranked states by average daily cases per 100,000 people over the most recent seven-day period, using data from federal, state, and local sources as of March 31. (These are the cities with the fewest COVID-19 cases.)

Unchanged from two weeks ago, Alaska remains the most dangerous state for the virus, with an average of 156 new daily cases in the past seven days, or 21 daily cases per 100,000 people. Still, Alaska had the sixth largest decline in daily cases over the past two weeks, with a 14-day decline in average new cases of 58%. Two weeks ago, Alaska averaged 376 new daily cases, or 51 per 100,000. 

Click here to see the most dangerous states for COVID-19

At the other end is South Dakota, which reported an average of 16 new daily cases in the past seven days, or 1.8 cases per 100,000 – the fewest. Cases in the state dropped 61% in the past two weeks. But the largest decline was in Nevada, where cases dropped 95% in the past 14 days. (These are the states fighting COVID most successfully.)

Other states with relatively high COVID-19 infection rates in recent days include Vermont, Colorado, Texas, and Kentucky, with cases in Colorado, Texas, and Vermont actually trending higher. In fact, while a month ago all states but one reported declining infection rates, today, 15 states reported an increase in the average number of new daily cases compared to two weeks ago.

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