This State Is Now Experiencing the Worst COVID Surge in the U.S.
The coronavirus cases per capita put this state into a red zone where another lockdown is necessary.
The coronavirus has spread through states at different speeds and at different times since it arrived on the shores of the U.S. In March and April, states like New York and New Jersey were the epicenters, while other states were left relatively untouched. But as reopening takes place all across the country, several new hotspots have sprung up, especially in the South and the West. The large numbers of new cases recorded by California, Florida, Texas, and Arizona, among other states, have been frequently mentioned in the news over the course of the summer. But as of the time of publication, Georgia is experiencing the worst COVID surge of any state in the U.S.
According to the COVID-19 Risk Levels map maintained by the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI), Georgia has the highest seven-day average of daily new cases at 29.9 per every 100,000 people. This puts the state into the HGHI's red zone, meaning that it's at "a tipping point" and "stay-at-home orders [are] necessary." The only other state in the red zone right now is Florida, with 28.6 daily new cases per 100,000 people. The rest of the country is in either the orange ("accelerated spread," for which rigorous testing and/or stay-at-home orders are advised) or the yellow zone ("community spread," with test and trace programs advised). There are no states in the green, or "on track for containment" zone.
Per data from The New York Times, Georgia recorded its highest number of daily new cases on July 10 with 4,904. But the curve hasn't flattened since then. The state is still recording new cases in the multiple thousands daily.
Meanwhile, the state remains completely reopened (stay-at-home orders expired April 24), with indoor dining, gyms, movie theaters, and other businesses legally allowed to operate. Gov. Brian Kemp has been staunchly against a statewide mask mandate, and even tried to sue the city of Atlanta to prevent them from enacting their own. However, last week, he withdrew the suit and signed a new executive order that allows local governments to mandate masks in their areas, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The order also extends the state's ban on large gatherings and COVID safety requirements for businesses until Aug. 31, but it does not reverse any aspects of reopening. And for more on the challenges Georgia is facing, COVID Is "Expanding" in This State, Leaked White House Document Warns.