These 10 States' Coronavirus Outbreaks Are Now "Critical," Experts Say
According to researchers, these states have COVID crises that will be hard to contain.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the country, with certain states experiencing devastating spikes in COVID cases and hospitalizations. The experts at Covid Act Now, which compiles data to determine which states are experiencing or at highest risk for coronavirus spread, have continued to update their color-coded map. As of July 13, there are now 10 states that are marked red. Based on the infection rate, positive test rate, ICU availability, and number of contact tracers, these are the states with COVID outbreaks that are "critical." And for more areas to keep an eye on, The CDC Warns That These Are the Next 10 Coronavirus Hotspots.
Alabama's high infection rate (the average number of people a sick person will infect) of 1.18 and positive test rate of 14.1 percent put it in the "critical" category. The state also has some danger of running out of ICU beds, and not nearly enough contact tracers to trace new coronavirus cases, according to Covid Act Now. While the COVID death rate has been down overall, Alabama was recently identified as one of the states where the number of weekly deaths is on the rise. According to The New York Times, there have been almost 53,600 coronavirus cases in the state as of July 13, with over 1,120 deaths. And for more states that should be considering a shutdown, These 14 States Are Looking at Another Lockdown, Harvard Researchers Say.
Arizona was recently cited as one of the new epicenters of the pandemic in the U.S. In fact, it's one of the four states responsible for half of all new COVID cases in the country. As Covid Act Now notes, Arizona has a dangerously high positive test rate of 26.6 percent, and a "critical" lack of available ICU beds. The rapidly rising hospitalizations in the state have forced doctors to institute a scoring system to determine which patients will receive COVID care. There are currently nearly 122,500 coronavirus cases in Arizona, and there have been around 2,240 deaths.
Like Arizona, Florida is considered one of the current COVID epicenters in the country, as well as one of the four states responsible for half of all new COVID cases. Florida's ICU situation is also just as critical, Covid Act Now says, and the high positive test rate (19.3 percent) and infection rate (1.22) aren't helping matters either. On July 11, Florida broke the country's record for most single-day new COVID cases by any state with 15,299. There are now more than 269,800 coronavirus cases overall, and over 4,240 deaths. And for more states requiring immediate intervention, These 6 States Need Another Lockdown, Harvard Researchers Say.
As one of the earliest states to end lockdown, Georgia has been on experts' radars for months now. And the situation in the state is certainly in need of monitoring: Covid Act Now points to a high infection rate of 1.24 and a high positive test rate of 14.6 percent. But once again, it's the dwindling number of ICU beds that puts Georgia in the "critical" category. The state currently has almost 108,400 COVID cases, with around 2,950 deaths.
Louisiana was one of the recent additions to Covid Act Now's "critical" list, thanks in large part to a limited number of contact tracers: The state only has seven percent of the number they'd need to trace all new coronavirus infections in 48 hours. But Louisiana also has a high infection rate of 1.29, which means that cases are spreading quickly—at the end of last month, it was one of the states where new cases doubled in one week. As of July 13, there are 78,230 COVID cases in Louisiana, and there have been over 3,415 deaths.
To try to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, St. Louis recently instituted a mask mandate across the city—but Missouri hasn't followed suit. They may want to reconsider, based on the assessment of Covid Act Now. As with Louisiana, it's the lack of contact tracers that put Missouri in the "critical" category, but the state also has a high infection rate of 1.21. That has resulted in over 29,170 coronavirus cases, and nearly 1,115 deaths from COVID. And for more states experts are worried about, Dr. Fauci Just Warned That These States Are Increasingly "Vulnerable."
Montana was recently identified as one of the states where coronavirus is spreading fastest, and the situation has gotten worse since then. The state currently has a "critical" infection rate of 1.41, the second-highest in the country: This means that active cases are increasing exponentially. Currently, there are almost 1,760 COVID cases in Montana, with just under 30 deaths—but numbers are going up at an alarming rate.
The coronavirus outbreak in South Carolina is more severe than the outbreaks in several other countries. New COVID cases are up 999 percent since reopening. It's no surprise, then, that South Carolina earns a "critical" rating from Covid Act Now. The infection and positive test rates—1.14 and 16.7 percent, respectively—are high. But even worse are the dangerously low number of contact tracers and available ICU beds. As of July 13, South Carolina has just under 56,650 COVID cases, with more than 960 deaths. And for insight into which states need to return to lockdown, The "Only Option Is to Shut Down" in States Not Doing This, Doctor Warns.
Texas, an epicenter of the current coronavirus crisis, is another one of the four states responsible for half of the new cases in the U.S.—and according to Covid Act Now, the state does not have enough ICU beds or contact tracers to handle the situation. There has been a recent push for face masks throughout Texas, with state officials also urging residents to shelter in place. With an infection rate of 1.22 and a positive test rate of 16.1 percent, however, course correction will be a challenge. Texas currently has over 264,800 coronavirus cases, and there have been almost 3,250 deaths.
Per Covid Act Now, West Virginia has the highest infection rate of any state in the U.S. at 1.42, a "critical" number that reflects an exponential rise in new cases. Otherwise, the state's numbers are decent, though West Virginia needs more contact tracers to trace more than 34 percent of new COVID cases. As of July 13, there are a little over 4,240 coronavirus cases in the state, and around 95 deaths. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.