These 10 States Are Seeing the Worst COVID Surges Right Now

An expert is warning of "very dense outbreaks" in some areas as variants spread.

The first official week of summer has brought about a change in the trajectory of COVID in the U.S. While cases remain far below their highest points seen in January, new infections caused by the highly contagious Delta variant are continuing to spread. Now, some states are seeing considerable COVID surges as officials struggle to vaccinate certain parts of the population, according to data from The Washington Post.

On a national level, the U.S. has seen its seven-day average of new COVID cases increase by 15 percent as of June 29. But according to experts such as Scott Gottlieb, MD, former U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner, not all areas can expect to see the same jump in cases in the coming weeks and months—especially as the Delta variant continues to circulate and pick up speed.

"It's going to be hyper-regionalized, where there are certain pockets of the country [where] we can have very dense outbreaks," Gottlieb said during a June 27 interview on CBS' Face the Nation.

"I think as you look across the United States, if you're a community that has low vaccination rates and you also think that there was low immunity from prior infection, so the virus really hasn't coursed through the local population, those communities are vulnerable," he explained. "So, I think governors need to be thinking about how they build out health care resources in areas of the country where you still have a lot of vulnerability."

Other experts cautioned that the newest strain could have tragic consequences in the future. "A variant like Delta that has more transmissibility will lead to more hospitalizations and more deaths among a population that has low vaccination coverage," Henry Walke, MD, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) division of preparedness and emerging infections, told NBC News. "I'm worried about what's going to happen in September as we move indoors and as schools open up again. The way to protect those kids is to vaccinate everyone else."

So, which places are currently seeing their cases increase? Read on to see the states with the worst COVID surges in the U.S., according to data from The Washington Post as of June 29.

RELATED: If You Take Medication for This, You May Still Need a Mask, CDC Says.

10
Idaho

cityscape photos of mountains, moving cars, buildings, and the state capitol in Boise, Idaho at sunset
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 5 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 32 percent

9
Kansas

city skyline of Wichita, Kansas at dusk
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 5 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 41 percent

RELATED: 99 Percent of People Hospitalized for COVID in 2021 Have This in Common.

8
Mississippi

The skyline of Jackson, Mississippi at dusk
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 5 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 41 percent

7
Oklahoma

city skyline of downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 6 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 44 percent

RELATED: The CDC Says Vaccinated People Who Get COVID Have This in Common.

6
California

cityscape photo of buildings and houses in San Jose, California 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: 50 percent

5
Arkansas

cityscape photo of Little Rock, Arkansas at sunset
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 12 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 55 percent

RELATED: If You're Unvaccinated, You're Banned From These Popular Destinations.

4
Nevada

cityscape photo of mountains and skyline in Reno, Nevado
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 14 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 56 percent

3
South Carolina

city skyline and highway in Columbia, South Carolina at night
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 2 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 59 percent

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Says "Herd Immunity" Is No Longer the Goal With COVID—This Is.

2
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: 2 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 71 percent

1
South Dakota

Panorama of Rapid City, South Dakota
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 2 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 75 percent

RELATED: Scientists Just Made a Startling Discovery About Vaccinated People Who Get COVID.

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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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