These 11 States Now Have the Worst COVID Outbreaks in the U.S.

Jaimie Etkin
·3 mins read

As the summer slowed down in August and early September, it seemed the U.S. had reached a turning point in the pandemic—finally COVID case numbers were going down. But in recent weeks, the country's fate has changed. As of Oct. 3, the U.S. is seeing an eight percent rise in COVID cases from the average two weeks earlier, The New York Times reports. Of course, as has been the case throughout the pandemic, some states are being hit worse than others. It's clear the virus has been ravaging the Midwest and now, is inching its way into western states as well. Based on the latest data, those two regions have the worst COVID outbreaks nationwide.

There are many ways to measure a state's COVID outbreak, but these are the three key metrics: the number of new daily cases per 100,000 residents; the positive test rate, which is the percent of COVID tests done in each state that yield a positive result (a metric Anthony Fauci, MD, has called a "good predictor of a surge"); and the infection rate, which indicates the number of people each positive patient will infect.

Looking at the daily number of new COVID cases from Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI), the positive test rate according to Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, and the infection rate according to Rt.live, the following 11 states are having the worst outbreaks in the U.S. right now. In fact, according to the HGHI, they've reached the critical tipping point of having 25 new cases per day per capita, which puts them at the red risk level. And, the Harvard research team explains, "once a community reaches the red risk level, stay-at-home orders become necessary again." Read on to learn more, and if you're concerned about the most prominent figure with COVID, check out The 4 COVID Symptoms President Trump and the First Lady Reportedly Have.

11

Alabama

Alabama
Alabama

Daily new cases per 100,000 residents: 25.0

Infection rate: 0.94

Positive test rate: 12.6 percent

And for more on what the nation's leading immunologist says to expect in the weeks ahead, find out why Dr. Fauci Just Said This Is a "Bad Sign" for COVID.

10

Nebraska

nebraska shown as coronavirus hotspot on u.s. map
nebraska shown as coronavirus hotspot on u.s. map

Daily new cases per 100,000 residents: 25.2

Infection rate: 1.06

Positive test rate: 12.8 percent

9

Oklahoma

oklahoma on map with covid indicator
oklahoma on map with covid indicator

Daily new cases per 100,000 residents: 25.9

Infection rate: 1.00

Positive test rate: 7.9 percent

And if you've noticed something strange going on with your nose lately, know that There's an 80 Percent Chance You Have COVID If You Have This Symptom.

8

Idaho

map of idaho showing covid outbreak
map of idaho showing covid outbreak

Daily new cases per 100,000 residents: 26.6

Infection rate: 1.14

Positive test rate: 22.3 percent

7

Arkansas

map shows Arkansas with COVID-19 label
map shows Arkansas with COVID-19 label

Daily new cases per 100,000 residents: 27.8

Infection rate: 1.02

Positive test rate: 4.6 percent

And for another state that could be facing a surge, Dr. Fauci Says This One State Is "Asking for Trouble."

6

Iowa

map shows iowa with COVID-19 label
map shows iowa with COVID-19 label

Daily new cases per 100,000 residents: 28.4 percent

Infection rate: 1.09

Positive test rate: 17.8 percent

5

Montana

montana on map with covid indicator
montana on map with covid indicator

Daily new cases per 100,000 residents: 30.2

Infection rate: 1.18

Positive test rate: 8.4 percent

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4

Utah

map of utah showing covid test positivity
map of utah showing covid test positivity

Daily new cases per 100,000 residents: 30.8

Infection rate: 1.06

Positive test rate: 13.2 percent

3

Wisconsin

wisconsin map shows covid outbreak
wisconsin map shows covid outbreak

Daily new cases per 100,000 residents: 42.7

Infection rate: 1.14

Positive test rate: 22.2 percent

2

South Dakota

map shows south Dakota with COVID-19 label
map shows south Dakota with COVID-19 label

Daily new cases per 100,000 residents: 49.2

Infection rate: 1.09

Positive test rate: 24.1 percent

1

North Dakota

map shows North Dakota with COVID-19 label
map shows North Dakota with COVID-19 label

Daily new cases per 100,000 residents: 60.7

Infection rate: 1.03

Positive test rate: 7.2 percent