These Are the Only 3 States Where COVID Is Spiking

These places are still seeing cases rise as the national daily average decreases.

Five weeks after bringing COVID-19 infections in the U.S. to their highest point in the pandemic, the downswing of the Omicron surge appears to be carrying on. The national seven-day new case average dropped below 100,000 for the first time since Dec. 2, reaching 82,383 on Feb. 21, according to data from The Washington Post. But even as most places are seeing infections recede, there are a handful of states where COVID is still spiking despite the national trend.

The ongoing decline in cases across the U.S. has remained steady since reaching its peak on Jan. 14, dropping 46 percent in the last seven days alone. Certain states have followed along with the decrease, with New York posting a drop in cases of more than 50 percent over the past two weeks, the Associated Press reports.

"I think what's influencing the decline, of course, is that Omicron is starting to run out of people to infect," Thomas Russo, MD, professor and infectious disease chief at the University of Buffalo's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, told the AP.

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Even by other metrics, the pandemic seems to be coming under control. Hospitalizations from the virus have decreased 43 percent to a daily average of 65,861 as of Feb.21, and daily deaths have dropped 19 percent to 2,096, according to data from The New York Times. But experts warn that it's still premature to declare victory over COVID.

"In most of the country, cases, deaths, and hospitalizations are still extremely high, and I certainly hope that's not the new normal, and I don't believe it's the new normal," Justin Lessler, PhD, an epidemiology professor at the University of North Carolina, told The Guardian. "I worry that the perception that we are already there is going to lead people to act in ways that [are] going to draw this out longer than it needs to be drawn out."

Others cautioned that we needed to resist the urge to drop certain safety measures too early. "I think it's probably reasonable not to get too cocky at this point," Jennifer Nuzzo, DrPH, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told The Guardian. "I welcome the decline in cases that we are seeing in the U.S. and a number of other countries, and I think you can both celebrate the sunshine while also keeping an umbrella close by for the possibility that rain could occur."

Read on to see the only states to have experienced COVID spikes over the past week as of Feb. 22, according to data from The Washington Post.

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fast moving traffic on a highway and buildings in Hartford, Connecticut at dusk
  • New cases in the last seven days: 25 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 1 percent

The modest bump in COVID cases in Connecticut comes as the state reported a drop in its positive test rate to 2.97 percent. The number of hospitalizations had also fallen by 29 over the weekend to 261.


city skyline and the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at dusk
  • New cases in the last seven days: 22 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 2 percent

On Feb. 20, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported an additional 1,393 COVID cases, bringing the state's all-time total to 2,744,145. It also reported 103 new deaths from the virus, bringing the statewide total to 42,789.

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South Dakota

cityscape photo of downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • New cases in the last seven days: 40 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 15 percent

The South Dakota Department of Health reported hospitalizations in the state remained steady during its update on Feb. 18, with 222 patients currently admitted with the virus. The state's most recent positive test rate was reported as 11.8 percent as of Feb. 17, according to COVID Act Now.

What about Maine?

The skyline of Portland, Maine
  • New cases in the last seven days: 245 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 57 percent

A backlog of reported cases was finally processed by the Maine Center for Disease Control on Feb. 15, resulting in the addition of 10,968 cases, the Portland Press Herald reports. This means that the data doesn't accurately reflect current trends in infections, while other metrics, including wastewater testing and hospitalizations, show that conditions in the state are actually improving.

"In recent days, we launched a system to automate a portion of this (case count) process," Robert Long, Maine CDC spokesman, said in a statement on Feb. 15. "As a result, for several days starting with the update on February 15, the Maine CDC webpage will show a significant increase in the day-to-day tallies of total cases, confirmed cases, and probable cases."

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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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