The 2 States Where Coronavirus Is Spreading Fastest Will Surprise You

The COVID infection rate in these states is higher than in the epicenters of the pandemic.

With COVID spikes in states across the country, one of the biggest challenges of the coronavirus pandemic is knowing which numbers to pay closest attention to. Should we be monitoring rising case numbers or rising hospitalizations? Should we focus on the death rate or the positive test rate? All of this data matters, of course, but when it comes to how quickly the virus is spreading, the infection rate—or the number of people the average sick person will infect—is especially useful. Looking at the infection rates for all 50 states, you might be surprised to learn the two states where coronavirus is spreading fastest, because it's not any of the epicenters of the pandemic. And for more states with surprisingly high COVID numbers, These Are the 2 Surprising States Where COVID Cases Are Skyrocketing.


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According to the experts at Covid Act Now, Idaho has an infection rate of 1.34, the highest of any state in the U.S. (For contrast, Florida—which is considered one of the current epicenters of the pandemic—has an infection rate of 1.27.) Idaho ended its lockdown over two months ago, and has seen a significant rise in coronavirus cases recently. The state also has a high positive test rate of 12.1 percent, per Covid Act Now. As of July 9, The New York Times reports over 9,000 COVID cases in Idaho, with nearly 100 deaths. And for insight into where we go from here, Dr. Fauci Has This Alarming Message About Future State Lockdowns.


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When it comes to the pandemic, Montana has mostly gotten attention for being one of the few remaining states without any face mask requirements. But as Covid Act Now notes, the state has a high infection rate that's right up there with Idaho's—1.33. That's why Covid Act Now considers Montana to be a "high-risk" state despite ample ICU beds available and a low positive test rate of 2.5 percent. While case numbers are on the rise in the state, Montana currently has just over 1,465 coronavirus cases, per The New York Times, and there have been 25 deaths from COVID. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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