These 11 States Are Seeing the Worst COVID Surges Right Now

The Delta variant is being blamed for a nationwide rise in cases, especially among the unvaccinated.

After months of progress, COVID-19 cases are spiking nationwide in the U.S. once again. Data over the weekend of July 18 showed that all 50 states and Washington, D.C., saw infections rise versus the previous week. But while everywhere might be seeing their cases go up, certain states are seeing their worst COVID surges in months, with many experts and officials citing the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant as the cause for the latest outbreaks.

As of July 19, the daily new COVID case average for the U.S. tripled, jumping 198 percent over the past two weeks, according to data from The New York Times. Unfortunately, with hospitalizations and deaths also on the rise, some health officials warn that the latest nationwide surge is largely only affecting a specific group of people. "There is a message that is crystal clear: This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated," Rochelle Walensky, MD, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said during a press briefing on July 16. She added that 97 percent of those hospitalized had not received their shots. "We are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage because unvaccinated people are at risk, and communities that are fully vaccinated are generally faring well."

Other health experts cited the highly contagious nature of the Delta variant. During a July 19 appearance on Good Morning America, Ashish Jha, MD, the dean of the school of public health at Brown University, warned that unvaccinated people were contracting the strain of the virus after a shorter exposure time even if they were practicing social distancing of six feet or more. "Everybody is either going to end up at some point getting vaccinated or they're going to end up getting infected," he said. "People have to be really careful out there if you're unvaccinated, and the best way to protect yourself is to get the shot."

In comments made on July 19, President Joe Biden took another chance to implore Americans to get their shots, noting that 40 percent of new COVID cases in the past week were reported in just four states with low vaccination rates. "So please, please get vaccinated," Biden urged. "Get vaccinated now."

To find out which states are seeing more than a 70 percent surge in COVID cases as of July 20, according to data from The Washington Post, read on.

RELATED: This Is Exactly When the Delta Variant Surge Will Be the Worst, Expert Says.

11
Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 15 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 70 percent

10
Maryland

the Baltimore skyline and Inner Harbor Promenade in Baltimore, Maryland
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 3 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 70 percent

9
South Carolina

downtown area of Charleston, South Carolina in the afternoon
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 10 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 75 percent

8
Texas

cityscape photo of San Antonio, Texas at dusk
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 11 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 79 percent

RELATED: If You Have This, Your Pfizer or Moderna Vaccine Is Less Effective, Study Finds.

7
Massachusetts

Massachusetts
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 4 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 84 percent

6
Connecticut

fast moving traffic on a highway and buildings in Hartford, Connecticut at dusk
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 4 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 86 percent

5
Pennsylvania

philadelphia pennsylvania
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 3 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 88 percent

4
Washington

Seattle, Washington
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 9 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 90 percent

RELATED: Vaccinated People Who Get the Delta Variant Have This in Common, WHO Says.

3
Florida

cityscape photo of a roundabout and buildings in Tampa, Florida at sunset
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 30 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 91 percent

2
Maine

townhouses and building behind a lake in Portland, Maine
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 3 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 112 percent

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1
Alaska

Sunset from the coast in Ketchikan, Alaska. Landscape coastal view along the ocean with buildings along the bay and mountain in background as the evening sun colors the cloudy/ overcast autumn sky.
iStock
  • New cases in the last seven days: 23 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 234 percent

RELATED: If You Did This After Your First Shot, You're at Risk for the Delta Variant.

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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