Special Report

Weekly Update: Here's How Bad COVID Is Right Now in Every State

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It’s been three-and-a-half years since COVID-19 first upended society and we’re still living with the outbreak. The pandemic’s latest variants, EG.5 and BA.2.86, are circulating through the population. They are apparently not as dangerous as previous versions of the virus, however, and indications are that booster shots – approved this week – should provide protection against them, according to new data and reports from experts.

Even so, new cases are rising nationwide, prompting renewed fears and bringing back masking policies in some places. Already, stores such as Walgreens and CVS have run out of testing kits. Certain states are emerging as hotspots with the fastest viral spread, while others have remained relatively unaffected.

To determine the states where COVID-19 is the worst right now, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on recent COVID-19 hospital admissions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. States were ranked based on the number of new hospital admissions due to COVID-19 per 100,000 state residents for the week of Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023.

Analysis of CDC data shows clear regional divides. Southern states such as Louisiana, Florida, and Alabama, consistently have higher rates of new weekly admissions, total admissions, deaths, and test positivity as they did the previous week. For the second straight week, Florida had the most new weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, at 11.4 per 100,000.

Five states — New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana – shared the highest current COVID-19 test positivity rate at 20.3%. The same five shared the highest test positivity rate the previous week as well. (See the city with the healthiest population in every state.)

Click here to see the states where the new COVID-19 surge is the worst

The less-populated states in the West and Southwest such as New Mexico, Wyoming, North Dakota are among the states with the fewest new weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions. (These are the states with the most health-conscious residents.)

Methodology

To determine the states where COVID-19 is the worst right now, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on recent COVID-19 hospital admissions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. States were ranked based on the number of new hospital admissions due to COVID-19 per 100,000 state residents for the week of Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023. Supplemental data on the total number of recorded COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020; the total number of deaths due to COVID-19 since January 2020; and the COVID-19 test positivity rate for the week of Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023 also came from the CDC. Population data used to adjust hospital admission and death counts per capita came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population and Housing Unit Estimates program and is for July 1, 2022.

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50. Wyoming
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 1.9 per 100,000 (11 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,955.3 per 100,000 (19th highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 368.1 per 100,000 (19th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 12.5% (20th lowest)

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49. Nebraska
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 2.1 per 100,000 (42 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,599.5 per 100,000 (17th lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 293.0 per 100,000 (15th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 14.5% (6th highest)

48. North Dakota
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 2.6 per 100,000 (20 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,927.6 per 100,000 (21st highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 338.5 per 100,000 (21st lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 12.5% (20th lowest)

47. Delaware
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 2.7 per 100,000 (27 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,970.8 per 100,000 (18th highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 339.4 per 100,000 (23rd lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 12.8% (25th lowest)

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46. New Mexico
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 2.7 per 100,000 (57 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,807.3 per 100,000 (22nd lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 441.3 per 100,000 (5th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 20.3% (the highest)

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45. Minnesota
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 3.0 per 100,000 (171 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,375.7 per 100,000 (9th lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 271.6 per 100,000 (11th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 11.6% (12th lowest)

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44. Utah
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 3.0 per 100,000 (102 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,384.6 per 100,000 (10th lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 163.3 per 100,000 (3rd lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 12.5% (20th lowest)

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43. Maine
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 3.0 per 100,000 (42 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,089.5 per 100,000 (4th lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 236.3 per 100,000 (8th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 11.6% (12th lowest)

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42. Vermont
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 3.1 per 100,000 (20 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 968.4 per 100,000 (the lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 157.6 per 100,000 (2nd lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 11.6% (12th lowest)

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41. Wisconsin
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 3.5 per 100,000 (205 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 2,142.0 per 100,000 (10th highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 291.0 per 100,000 (14th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 11.6% (12th lowest)

40. Michigan
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 3.5 per 100,000 (351 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,915.7 per 100,000 (22nd highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 376.0 per 100,000 (17th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 11.6% (12th lowest)

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39. Kansas
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 3.7 per 100,000 (108 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,937.2 per 100,000 (20th highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 360.5 per 100,000 (22nd highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 14.5% (6th highest)

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38. Ohio
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 3.7 per 100,000 (437 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 2,212.2 per 100,000 (7th highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 422.9 per 100,000 (7th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 11.6% (12th lowest)

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37. Washington
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 3.7 per 100,000 (290 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 982.2 per 100,000 (2nd lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 193.0 per 100,000 (4th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 13.1% (22nd highest)

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36. Arizona
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 3.8 per 100,000 (279 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 2,083.0 per 100,000 (13th highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 403.6 per 100,000 (12th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 14.2% (10th highest)

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35. New Jersey
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 3.8 per 100,000 (355 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,857.8 per 100,000 (25th lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 381.3 per 100,000 (15th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 12.2% (14th lowest)

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34. Rhode Island
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 3.8 per 100,000 (42 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,196.3 per 100,000 (5th lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 363.7 per 100,000 (20th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 11.6% (12th lowest)

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33. New Hampshire
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 4.0 per 100,000 (56 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,297.6 per 100,000 (6th lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 235.7 per 100,000 (7th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 11.6% (12th lowest)

32. Colorado
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 4.1 per 100,000 (238 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,653.7 per 100,000 (18th lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 256.3 per 100,000 (9th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 12.5% (20th lowest)

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31. Nevada
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 4.1 per 100,000 (131 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 2,024.5 per 100,000 (16th highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 375.0 per 100,000 (18th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 14.2% (10th highest)

30. Pennsylvania
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 4.1 per 100,000 (535 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,885.1 per 100,000 (25th highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 406.0 per 100,000 (11th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 12.8% (25th lowest)

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29. Idaho
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 4.1 per 100,000 (80 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,422.7 per 100,000 (12th lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 284.4 per 100,000 (13th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 13.1% (22nd highest)

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28. Oregon
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 4.1 per 100,000 (175 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,085.6 per 100,000 (3rd lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 219.0 per 100,000 (6th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 13.1% (22nd highest)

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27. Maryland
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 4.2 per 100,000 (260 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,551.1 per 100,000 (14th lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 293.9 per 100,000 (16th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 12.8% (25th lowest)

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26. Indiana
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 4.3 per 100,000 (291 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 2,034.9 per 100,000 (15th highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 379.5 per 100,000 (16th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 11.6% (12th lowest)

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25. Virginia
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 4.3 per 100,000 (377 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,393.0 per 100,000 (11th lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 271.5 per 100,000 (10th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 12.8% (25th lowest)

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24. Iowa
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 4.5 per 100,000 (143 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,693.0 per 100,000 (19th lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 347.2 per 100,000 (25th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 14.5% (6th highest)

23. North Carolina
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 4.5 per 100,000 (481 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,566.5 per 100,000 (16th lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 316.6 per 100,000 (18th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 13.2% (14th highest)

22. Mississippi
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 4.6 per 100,000 (134 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,894.1 per 100,000 (24th highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 503.9 per 100,000 (the highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 13.2% (14th highest)

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21. Alaska
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 4.6 per 100,000 (34 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,323.2 per 100,000 (7th lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 206.4 per 100,000 (5th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 13.1% (22nd highest)

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20. Illinois
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 4.7 per 100,000 (597 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,817.4 per 100,000 (23rd lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 320.8 per 100,000 (19th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 11.6% (12th lowest)

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19. South Dakota
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 4.8 per 100,000 (44 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 2,106.6 per 100,000 (11th highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 359.7 per 100,000 (23rd highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 12.5% (20th lowest)

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18. Oklahoma
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 5.0 per 100,000 (199 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 2,730.1 per 100,000 (2nd highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 485.7 per 100,000 (3rd highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 20.3% (the highest)

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17. Montana
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 5.3 per 100,000 (60 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 2,672.7 per 100,000 (3rd highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 344.7 per 100,000 (25th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 12.5% (20th lowest)

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16. Connecticut
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 5.4 per 100,000 (195 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,779.2 per 100,000 (20th lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 338.8 per 100,000 (22nd lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 11.6% (12th lowest)

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15. Missouri
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 5.5 per 100,000 (342 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 2,105.7 per 100,000 (12th highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 363.7 per 100,000 (21st highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 14.5% (6th highest)

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14. Georgia
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 5.7 per 100,000 (618 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 2,187.7 per 100,000 (9th highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 331.2 per 100,000 (20th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 13.2% (14th highest)

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13. Tennessee
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 5.9 per 100,000 (416 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,846.9 per 100,000 (24th lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 406.6 per 100,000 (10th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 13.2% (14th highest)

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12. Kentucky
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 6.1 per 100,000 (277 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 3,444.4 per 100,000 (the highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 442.5 per 100,000 (4th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 13.2% (14th highest)

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11. Texas
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 6.4 per 100,000 (1,918 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 2,021.8 per 100,000 (17th highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 340.5 per 100,000 (24th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 20.3% (the highest)

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10. New York
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 6.4 per 100,000 (1,262 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,904.5 per 100,000 (23rd highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 412.3 per 100,000 (8th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 12.2% (14th lowest)

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9. Massachusetts
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 6.5 per 100,000 (454 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,483.5 per 100,000 (13th lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 299.7 per 100,000 (17th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 11.6% (12th lowest)

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8. California
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 6.8 per 100,000 (2,642 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,554.0 per 100,000 (15th lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 278.8 per 100,000 (12th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 14.2% (10th highest)

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7. West Virginia
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 7.0 per 100,000 (124 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 2,379.5 per 100,000 (5th highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 486.4 per 100,000 (2nd highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 12.8% (25th lowest)

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6. South Carolina
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 7.1 per 100,000 (373 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,790.4 per 100,000 (21st lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 402.4 per 100,000 (13th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 13.2% (14th highest)

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5. Hawaii
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 7.2 per 100,000 (103 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 1,346.0 per 100,000 (8th lowest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 135.6 per 100,000 (the lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 14.2% (10th highest)

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4. Arkansas
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 7.3 per 100,000 (222 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 2,203.7 per 100,000 (8th highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 411.9 per 100,000 (9th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 20.3% (the highest)

3. Louisiana
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 7.5 per 100,000 (344 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 2,082.5 per 100,000 (14th highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 384.4 per 100,000 (14th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 20.3% (the highest)

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2. Alabama
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 8.1 per 100,000 (410 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 2,298.7 per 100,000 (6th highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 440.5 per 100,000 (6th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 13.2% (14th highest)

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1. Florida
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Aug. 27-Sep. 2, 2023: 11.4 per 100,000 (2,536 total)
> Total COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020: 2,555.0 per 100,000 (4th highest)
> Total COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 2020: 359.2 per 100,000 (24th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 13.2% (14th highest)

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