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.)
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.)
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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