Special Report

States With the Highest Number of COVID-19 Cases

Since the first known case of COVID-19 was identified in the U.S. on Jan. 21, 2020, there have been a total of 81,978,400 confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationwide — or 25,057 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 17,579 to as high as 34,547, depending on the state.

Though the first case of the novel coronavirus in the United States was on the West Coast, the early epicenter of the outbreak was on the other side of the country, in New York City. In the months since, virtually no corner of the country has been spared.

Still, some states have been hit harder than others.

The severity of a COVID-19 outbreak across a given state is subject to a wide range of factors. 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 2020 — and of those eight states, seven 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 May 19, 2022.

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