COVID Is Spreading Much Faster Now Than It Was in the Spring, Study Finds

About half of American states are currently seeing cases grow more quickly than they were in April.

By now, the daily COVID-19 figures coming out of states like Arizona, Florida, Texas, and California are a grim reminder of just how quickly the virus has spread across the U.S. And while these hotspots have seen the most startling numbers, they are far from alone in watching the virus's pace quicken. Recent data shows that COVID-19 is spreading faster than it was in the spring in almost half of all U.S. states, according to a USA Today study.

Idaho, for example, originally saw low to stable increases in cases just months ago. In early April, the Gem State was reporting roughly five new cases per hour, before dropping to less than one per hour by mid-May, USA Today reports. But recent figures have shown that cases are now four-fold what they were before reopening in May, with about 20 new coronavirus cases cropping up per hour.

In addition to Idaho, other states and territories where cases are increasing faster than they were in the spring include Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

map of idaho showing covid outbreak

The doubling of case rates in a short period of time is becoming more troublingly common for many states in the Sun Belt region of the U.S.

But recent figures also show that COVID-19 is even spreading faster in states that were believed to have successfully beat the virus. Rhode Island, for example, had earned praise for its seemingly effective handling of the pandemic, but the state saw a 109 percent increase in new cases last week.

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Fortunately, it's not all bad news. Outside of Rhode Island, the rest of the Northeast is one region of the U.S. which is showing signs of improvement, with case levels in states such as New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey far below what they saw in the spring, USA Today reports. And for more on where the pandemic is headed, check out COVID-19 Will Be Surging Everywhere But Here in August, Researchers Say.

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Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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