These 5 States Account for Nearly Half of the Nation's COVID Cases

These COVID hotspots belong to a club that no one wants to join.

The U.S. accounts for nearly a quarter of the world's coronavirus cases and has recorded the single highest number of COVID-related deaths around the globe—both startling statistics by any measure. That's what makes it all the more shocking that nearly half of the country's five million total cases have been concentrated in just five states across the country.

As CNN reported, these five states have accounted for 40 percent of the country's total case count, each their own regional epicenter of viral destruction at some time or another. Read on to find out which states have earned this grim distinction, and where they stand today. And for more on states that are struggling to contain COVID, The CDC Says This State Just Moved Into the Coronavirus Red Zone.

New York

The skyline of New York City at sunset, with the Empire State Building and Midtown West in view

New York emerged as the first coronavirus crisis zone, with a single-day case count of over 11,000 at its peak in mid-April. After a strict lockdown and stringent policies including a mask mandate and travel restrictions, the city steadily began the slow but steady process of turning things around later that month.

The New York Times reports that the state has recorded a total of 425,000 cases and 32,345 deaths to date, but the new cases have slowed dramatically to a positive test rate hovering just under one percent. The new daily case count currently averages 654, down seven percent from the state's average just two weeks ago. And for more on how New York did it, find out why This State Is the Pandemic's Wonderful Success Story, Doctor Says.


skyline of atlanta georgia

More recently affected by the surge of coronavirus, Georgia is currently struggling to bring its numbers down. The state has recorded just under 200,000 cases, and lost over 4,000 lives. Despite the ongoing nature of the outbreak, public school districts reopened earlier this month to widespread criticism as photos surfaced online of their crowded conditions.

According to The New York Times, the Peach State has had an average of 3,211 cases per day over the last week, a two percent decrease from the previous two weeks.


downtown los angeles skyline

Leading the nation with the highest total case count, California has had over 556,000 total coronavirus cases to its name. At its peak, the single-day case count in California rivaled the worst days in New York, surpassing 10,000. Deaths have remained lower than the Empire State, with a total of 10,299 lives lost.

Thankfully, cases have shifted dramatically downward over the last two weeks as the state tightened its social distancing rules. Over that time, California has seen a 33 percent decrease in new cases compared with the previous two weeks. And to reminisce about sunnier California days, check out these 35 Vintage Photos That Show Us What a Beach Day Used to Look Like.


tampa florida skyline

At its peak in mid-July, Florida was seeing nearly 11,500 new cases in a single day and the death rate soared. This was perhaps unsurprising, after videos surfaced on social media of raging block parties and beach bashes in which attendees gathered in packed crowds, with few masks in sight.

The state's numbers have recently taken a significant turn for the better, with a 40 percent decrease over the last two weeks and a reduced average case count of 6,650 per day. According to The New York Times, Florida's total case count is currently 526,569, with over 8,100 deaths.


dallas texas skyline

Also surpassing the half-million mark is Texas, with 502,533 total cases. When the state hit its peak in mid-July, it experienced a record breaking single-day case count of over 15,000, according to The New York Times.

Unfortunately, the Lone Star State is hardly out of the woods yet. The coronavirus tracking site COVID Act Now ranks the state as an "active or imminent outbreak," and notes that their current positive test rate sits at over 16 percent, indicating insufficient testing. Today alone, over 200 people died from COVID-19 in Texas. And for more on the state's strategy, This Is The "Only Way" to Avoid Another Lockdown, Texas Governor Warns.

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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