Special Report

States Where the COVID-19 Surge Is the Worst Right Now

timnewman / E+ via Getty Images

After a brief pause last week where hospitalizations and test positivity rates for COVID-19 plateaued, the seven-day moving average for both metrics resumed dropping in the most recent reporting period.

However, this downward trend may be temporary. As winter approaches, other viruses and illnesses tend to spread, potentially weakening immune systems. This could leave people more susceptible to coronavirus infection and cause cases to rise again. (Also see the worst epidemics and pandemics in history.)

To determine the states where the COVID-19 surge 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 Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023.

The seven-day moving average of hospital admissions across the country slid to 14,728 for the reporting period ending Nov. 4, an 8% drop from the previous week. Test positivity decreased to 8.5% from 9.0% for the week ending Nov. 4.

South Dakota became the state with the highest number of new hospital admissions due to COVID-19 per 100,000 state residents in the latest report with a rate of 8.5. Eight of the 10 states with the highest rates were among the highest 10 the previous week when West Virginia led the country. Seven of the lowest 10 were also the lowest 10 the prior week. Georgia, Mississippi, and Alaska had the lowest rates during the current period as they did the prior week. (Also see 30 famous people who died from COVID.)

A new COVID-19 variant called HV.1 is emerging in the United States. This strain has overtaken other variants such as EG.5, which remains the dominant strain worldwide. According to the CDC, HV.1 has accounted for over a fourth of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S. since late October. Just a few months ago in late July, this variant was responsible for only 0.5% of cases.

50. Georgia
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 2.4 per 100,000 (266 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 2,223.5 per 100,000 (9th highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 334.5 per 100,000 (20th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 7.2% (25th highest)

 

49. Mississippi
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 2.7 per 100,000 (80 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,924.4 per 100,000 (25th highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 510.1 per 100,000 (the highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 7.2% (25th highest)

48. Alaska
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 2.7 per 100,000 (20 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,353.9 per 100,000 (7th lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 209.8 per 100,000 (5th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 8.7% (21st highest)

47. Louisiana
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 3.0 per 100,000 (137 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 2,121.7 per 100,000 (14th highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 388.2 per 100,000 (14th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 6.3% (12th lowest)

46. Washington
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 3.1 per 100,000 (244 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,018.7 per 100,000 (2nd lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 196.8 per 100,000 (4th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 8.7% (21st highest)

45. Iowa
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 3.4 per 100,000 (108 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,732.4 per 100,000 (19th lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 350.5 per 100,000 (25th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 9.6% (11th highest)

44. Texas
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 3.4 per 100,000 (1,034 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 2,063.4 per 100,000 (16th highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 343.1 per 100,000 (23rd lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 6.3% (12th lowest)

43. North Carolina
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 3.6 per 100,000 (381 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,609.7 per 100,000 (16th lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 321.0 per 100,000 (18th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 7.2% (25th highest)

42. Maine
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 3.6 per 100,000 (50 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,122.8 per 100,000 (3rd lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 241.7 per 100,000 (8th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 6.4% (18th lowest)

41. Tennessee
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 3.7 per 100,000 (259 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,885.1 per 100,000 (24th lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 411.4 per 100,000 (10th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 7.2% (25th highest)

40. Florida
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 3.7 per 100,000 (832 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 2,610.5 per 100,000 (4th highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 364.4 per 100,000 (22nd highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 7.2% (25th highest)

39. Minnesota
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 3.8 per 100,000 (216 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,414.2 per 100,000 (8th lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 275.5 per 100,000 (11th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 9.1% (15th highest)

38. South Carolina
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 3.8 per 100,000 (202 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,837.1 per 100,000 (21st lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 407.3 per 100,000 (12th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 7.2% (25th highest)

37. Oklahoma
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 3.8 per 100,000 (154 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 2,770.0 per 100,000 (2nd highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 490.4 per 100,000 (3rd highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 6.3% (12th lowest)

36. Vermont
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 3.9 per 100,000 (25 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,014.7 per 100,000 (the lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 164.0 per 100,000 (2nd lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 6.4% (18th lowest)

35. Alabama
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 3.9 per 100,000 (199 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 2,387.9 per 100,000 (6th highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 444.5 per 100,000 (6th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 7.2% (25th highest)

34. Utah
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 4.0 per 100,000 (134 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,421.3 per 100,000 (10th lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 164.5 per 100,000 (3rd lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 11.8% (5th highest)

33. Maryland
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 4.1 per 100,000 (253 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,593.9 per 100,000 (14th lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 297.5 per 100,000 (16th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 6.3% (12th lowest)

32. California
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 4.1 per 100,000 (1,618 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,602.4 per 100,000 (15th lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 281.7 per 100,000 (12th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 16.7% (the highest)

31. Indiana
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 4.3 per 100,000 (291 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 2,072.8 per 100,000 (15th highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 383.3 per 100,000 (16th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 9.1% (15th highest)

30. Arkansas
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 4.3 per 100,000 (131 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 2,255.9 per 100,000 (8th highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 416.0 per 100,000 (9th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 6.3% (12th lowest)

29. New Jersey
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 4.3 per 100,000 (401 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,908.7 per 100,000 (25th lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 384.6 per 100,000 (15th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 5.9% (2nd lowest)

28. North Dakota
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 4.4 per 100,000 (34 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,976.7 per 100,000 (21st highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 342.1 per 100,000 (21st lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 11.8% (5th highest)

27. Virginia
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 4.4 per 100,000 (381 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,438.5 per 100,000 (11th lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 275.0 per 100,000 (10th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 6.3% (12th lowest)

26. Oregon
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 4.5 per 100,000 (192 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,138.9 per 100,000 (4th lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 223.4 per 100,000 (6th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 8.7% (21st highest)

25. Nevada
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 4.6 per 100,000 (145 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 2,046.3 per 100,000 (17th highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 376.1 per 100,000 (18th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 16.7% (the highest)

24. Michigan
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 4.6 per 100,000 (459 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,958.8 per 100,000 (23rd highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 379.3 per 100,000 (17th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 9.1% (15th highest)

23. Rhode Island
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 4.7 per 100,000 (51 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,243.6 per 100,000 (5th lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 367.8 per 100,000 (20th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 6.4% (18th lowest)

22. Delaware
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 4.7 per 100,000 (48 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 2,016.8 per 100,000 (18th highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 343.9 per 100,000 (24th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 6.3% (12th lowest)

21. Idaho
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 4.8 per 100,000 (93 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,470.0 per 100,000 (12th lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 287.2 per 100,000 (13th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 8.7% (21st highest)

20. New Hampshire
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 4.8 per 100,000 (67 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,347.7 per 100,000 (6th lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 239.7 per 100,000 (7th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 6.4% (18th lowest)

19. Pennsylvania
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 4.9 per 100,000 (630 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,931.6 per 100,000 (24th highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 410.6 per 100,000 (11th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 6.3% (12th lowest)

18. Illinois
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 5.0 per 100,000 (625 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,860.6 per 100,000 (23rd lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 323.3 per 100,000 (19th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 9.1% (15th highest)

17. Ohio
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 5.0 per 100,000 (586 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 2,258.1 per 100,000 (7th highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 427.0 per 100,000 (7th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 9.1% (15th highest)

16. Connecticut
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 5.0 per 100,000 (182 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,835.4 per 100,000 (20th lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 342.9 per 100,000 (22nd lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 6.4% (18th lowest)

15. Arizona
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 5.1 per 100,000 (377 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 2,124.7 per 100,000 (13th highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 406.5 per 100,000 (13th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 16.7% (the highest)

14. New York
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 5.2 per 100,000 (1,026 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,968.7 per 100,000 (22nd highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 416.5 per 100,000 (8th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 5.9% (2nd lowest)

13. Missouri
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 5.3 per 100,000 (325 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 2,159.5 per 100,000 (12th highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 367.5 per 100,000 (21st highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 9.6% (11th highest)

12. Wyoming
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 5.3 per 100,000 (31 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 2,001.4 per 100,000 (19th highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 372.4 per 100,000 (19th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 11.8% (5th highest)

11. Wisconsin
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 5.3 per 100,000 (315 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 2,188.2 per 100,000 (10th highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 293.8 per 100,000 (14th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 9.1% (15th highest)

10. Montana
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 5.6 per 100,000 (63 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 2,743.1 per 100,000 (3rd highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 348.3 per 100,000 (25th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 11.8% (5th highest)

9. Nebraska
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 5.8 per 100,000 (115 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,638.5 per 100,000 (17th lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 295.6 per 100,000 (15th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 9.6% (11th highest)

8. Massachusetts
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 5.9 per 100,000 (410 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,543.7 per 100,000 (13th lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 304.3 per 100,000 (17th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 6.4% (18th lowest)

7. Kansas
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 6.6 per 100,000 (193 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,982.8 per 100,000 (20th highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 363.7 per 100,000 (23rd highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 9.6% (11th highest)

6. New Mexico
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 6.6 per 100,000 (139 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,851.9 per 100,000 (22nd lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 445.7 per 100,000 (5th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 6.3% (12th lowest)

5. Kentucky
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 6.8 per 100,000 (308 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 3,499.6 per 100,000 (the highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 448.9 per 100,000 (4th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 7.2% (25th highest)

4. Colorado
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 7.5 per 100,000 (440 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,709.1 per 100,000 (18th lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 259.3 per 100,000 (9th lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 11.8% (5th highest)

3. West Virginia
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 8.1 per 100,000 (144 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 2,457.1 per 100,000 (5th highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 493.3 per 100,000 (2nd highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 6.3% (12th lowest)

2. Hawaii
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 8.2 per 100,000 (118 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 1,415.6 per 100,000 (9th lowest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 140.1 per 100,000 (the lowest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 16.7% (the highest)

1. South Dakota
> New weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions, Oct 29-Nov. 4, 2023: 8.5 per 100,000 (77 total)
> COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug. 1, 2020: 2,165.6 per 100,000 (11th highest)
> COVID-19 deaths since January 2020: 363.7 per 100,000 (24th highest)
> Current COVID-19 test positivity rate: 11.8% (5th highest)

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