8 States Where Coronavirus Cases Are Skyrocketing Right Now
South Carolina, Alabama, and Missouri saw the biggest percentage increases in COVID-19 cases.
With states reopening across the U.S., it may seem to some that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is behind us. And while that could be true in certain areas—barring the potential for a second wave—cases are still on the rise in many states. Some of these increases could be due to more widespread testing, while others are the result of outbreaks in hot spots around the country. Based on the eight largest week-to-week percentage increases for the week ending in May 24, here are the states where coronavirus cases are skyrocketing. And to find out more about how COVID-19 is spreading, These Are the Worst Coronavirus "Super Spreaders" You Need to Know.
South Carolina: 42.4 percent
Of all the states that saw a percentage increase in cases, South Carolina's was the most dramatic rise: With 1,435 new cases, bringing the total to 10,096, the state saw a 42.4 percent increase in cases, according to Reuters. As of May 26, The New York Times has the current number of coronavirus cases in the state at nearly 10,200, with significant clusters in Richland County and Greenville County, the most populous counties in South Carolina. The highest number of cases per capita, however, is in Florence County.
Much of South Carolina has reopened over the past two weeks, per CNN. Restaurant dining rooms reopened on May 11 (with restrictions), while gyms and pools opened at a reduced capacity on May 18. Certain retail stores have been opened since April 20. And to make sure you're staying safe amid reopening, learn these 9 Mistakes You Shouldn't Make During Reopening.
Alabama: 28.2 percent
With 2,556 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number to 14,327, Alabama saw a 28.2 percent increase, as reported by Reuters. The New York Times currently has the number of coronavirus cases in Alabama at around 15,000, with the majority of cases in Mobile, Jefferson, and Montgomery counties. There have also been notable outbreaks in the less populous counties of Franklin, Tallapoosa, and Butler, which have the highest per-capita number of cases.
According to CNN, Alabama has largely reopened, with the caveat that social distancing rules are supposed to be maintained. Hair salons, nail salons, gyms, restaurants, and bars are all open, with restrictions. On May 22, summer camps and entertainment venues reopened, with educational institutions allowed to reopen June 1, provided social distancing is observed and employees wear face masks.
Missouri: 26.9 percent
According to Reuters, Missouri had a 26.9 percent increases in cases for the week ending in May 24, with 1,199 cases bringing the total to 11,988. That total is now closer to 12,300 cases, per The New York Times, with clusters around St. Louis and Kansas City. By far, the highest number of per-capita cases is in the county of Saline, though there have been no deaths reported there. Buchanan County is also an outlier for its high number of per-capita cases.
As CNN reported, Gov. Mike Parson announced his "Show Me Strong Recovery" plan on April 27, with the state beginning its reopening May 4. Businesses are open and social gatherings of any size are allowed, as long as social distancing rules are maintained. And for areas to avoid in reopened states, discover 7 "Safe" Places Where You Could Catch Coronavirus.
North Carolina: 25.7 percent
Reuters reported a 25.7 percent increase in coronavirus cases in North Carolina, as an additional 4,710 cases brought the total number to 23,222. As of May 26, there are approximately 24,000 coronavirus cases in the state, per The New York Times. The largest outbreak is in Mecklenburg County, where Charlotte is located, but there are notable clusters throughout the state. Per capita, the highest number of cases are in Wayne and Duplin counties, which have emerged as hot spots.
On May 20, Gov. Roy Cooper said the state would shift to phase 2 of reopening on May 22, according to CNN. This reopening was less expansive than originally planned, with restaurants opening but bars, clubs, and gyms staying closed. Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people, with 25 people allowed at outdoor gatherings.
Maryland: 20.8 percent
With 7,509 new cases—a total number of 46,313—Maryland saw a 20.8 percent rise for the week ending in May 24, according to Reuters. The New York Times now places the number of coronavirus cases in Maryland at just under 47,800, with the largest number of cases (over 14,000) in Prince George's County. In contrast to other states on this list, the county with the highest number of cases also has the most cases per capita.
As CNN reported, much of Maryland has been reopened for the past two weeks: Retail stores, salons, and churches all reopened May 13, at 50 percent capacity. Some restrictions were lifted earlier, like elective medical procedures (May 6) and outdoor activities (May 9). And if you're wondering what places still haven't returned, These Will Be the Last Places to Reopen After the Coronavirus.
Colorado: 20.8 percent
As Reuters reported, Colorado also had a 20.8 percent rise in cases, adding 2,331 to bring its total to 23,964. That number has now increased to over 24,250 cases, per The New York Times. In Colorado, the majority of cases are clustered around the Denver area. But there are a staggering number of cases per capita in the much less populous counties of Morgan and Logan.
According to CNN, Colorado's "safer-at-home" order expires May 27. On that date, in-person dining will be allowed (with restrictions), but bars will remain closed. Elective medical procedures and more businesses are also being permitted to reopen—with social distancing rules observed—though some retail businesses have been reopened since May 1.
Georgia: 20.6 percent
After two weeks of a decline in cases, Georgia saw a percentage increase again—20.6 percent, as Reuters reported. That represents the new total of 42,838 cases, an additional 5,137 for the week ending in May 24. Interestingly, The New York Times is counting fewer coronavirus cases in Georgia as of May 26, putting the number at just over 41,400. While Fulton County (where Atlanta is located) has the most cases overall, the highest number of cases per capita are in Hall County and Dougherty County, the latter of which also has the highest per-capita number of coronavirus deaths in the state.
Georgia was notable for its early reopening. As CNN reported, Gov. Brian Kemp began easing restrictions on April 24, allowing salons, tattoo parlors, gyms, and more to reopen (with restrictions). On April 27, theaters and restaurants opened, with similar social distancing guidelines. Bars and clubs remain closed.
Nevada: 20.3 percent
With Reuters reporting 913 new cases, bringing the total to 7,770, Nevada had a 20.3 percent rise for the week ending in May 24. The New York Times puts the current number of coronavirus cases in the state at around 8,000. As expected, most cases are in Clark County (where Las Vegas is) and Washoe County (where Reno is). Per capita, the highest number of cases is in the much less populous Humboldt County.
Per CNN, Gov. Steve Sisolak ended Nevada's stay-at-home order nearly a week early, saying, "We have met our gateway benchmarks for starting reopening." On May 9, most retail establishments reopened, limited to 50 percent capacity, along with in-person dining, with social distancing measures observed. And for areas to steer clear of, these are the 7 Germiest Public Places You Should Avoid Even After They Reopen.