These 12 States Are Seeing the Worst COVID Surges Right Now

The former Surgeon General says the pandemic is "spiraling out of control again."

The fast-spreading Delta variant is continuing to fuel an outbreak of new COVID-19 cases affecting nearly every corner of the U.S. For the second week in a row, all 50 states and Washington, D.C., saw an increase in infections over the previous week. And in some states that are seeing the worst COVID surges, health officials are reviving public health precautions as hospitalizations and deaths from the virus continue to rise.

While still far below the worst levels seen over the winter, the ongoing spike in cases has brought the national daily average of new COVID cases to its highest point since April, according to data from The New York Times. The past two weeks have seen an increase of 144 percent to 56,635 new cases as of July 26.

During an appearance on CNN's State of the Union on July 25, Anthony Fauci, MD, chief White House COVID adviser, bemoaned the pandemic's trajectory. "We're going in the wrong direction," he told host Jake Tapper, describing himself as "very frustrated" with the current situation.

Fauci also went on to say that the possibility of reviving a mask recommendation for vaccinated individuals was "under active consideration" by federal officials, arguing that recent decisions by some local health officials to suggest everyone wear a face covering wasn't at odds with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) guidance. "We're seeing that in LA. We're seeing that in Chicago. We're seeing that in New Orleans. The officials there, many of them are saying even if you are vaccinated, it's prudent to wear a mask indoors," he said.

While appearing on CBS's Face the Nation that same day, former U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, said that the pandemic was "spiraling out of control" as not enough people have stepped up to get vaccinated. He urged the public to get their shots, warning: "There's also real harm to you because, guess what? More mitigation is coming, whether it's masking or whether it's closures or whether it's your kids having to return to virtual learning, that is coming."

These warnings were particularly targeted at unvaccinated individuals in states where numbers are climbing. Read on to discover which states are seeing more than an 80 percent surge in COVID cases over the past week as of July 27, according to data from The Washington Post.

12
Georgia

cityscape photo of Atlanta, Georgia
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 20 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 80 percent

11
Massachusetts

public garden boston, massachusetts
f11photo / Shutterstock
  • New cases in the last seven days: 7 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 82 percent

RELATED: If You Traveled Here Recently, Get Tested for COVID—Even If You're Vaccinated.

10
Hawaii

cityscape view of Waikiki, Hawaii at sunrise
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 14 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 83 percent

9
Vermont

An aerial view of Montpelier, Vermont
Shutterstock
  • New cases in the last seven days: 4 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 85 percent

RELATED: Costco Just Announced It's Bringing Back This COVID Precaution.

8
Tennessee

Tennessee
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 18 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 89 percent

7
South Carolina

Mount Pleasant South Carolina
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 19 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 89 percent

RELATED: This Could Determine If You Catch the Delta Variant—And It's Not Vaccination.

6
Kentucky

The skyline of Louisville, Kentucky with a blue bridge in the foreground
iStock
  • New cases in the last seven days: 19 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 95 percent

5
Alabama

The skyline of Mobile, Alabama at dusk
iStock
  • New cases in the last seven days: 32 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 95 percent

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

4
Louisiana

street cars in New Orleans, Louisiana in the afternoon
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 63 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 105 percent

3
Rhode Island

rhode island seascape
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 8 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 107 percent

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2
Wisconsin

city skyline in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Shutterstock
  • New cases in the last seven days: 7 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 129 percent

1
South Dakota

The main street of Deadwood, South Dakota with cars and shops in view.
iStock
  • New cases in the last seven days: 5 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 175 percent

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

Zachary Mack
Zachary is a freelance writer covering beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. Read more
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