These 6 States Are Seeing the Worst COVID Surges Right Now

Some areas are seeing big spikes as the national daily case average is on the rise again.

The course of the pandemic has once again shifted as the country's seven-day new case average has seen a significant increase after a weeks-long decline and plateau. Now, some top officials and experts are voicing concern as certain states and areas around the U.S. deal with substantial COVID surges as the holiday season approaches.

After weeks of leveling out between 70,000 and 75,000 cases, the national daily COVID infection average jumped back above 82,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University analyzed by CNBC. The sudden spike represents an 11 percent increase overall from last week.

In a Nov. 15 interview hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, chief White House COVID adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, acknowledged that the steady decline experienced since the worst of the Delta surge tapered off near the end of the summer had stalled. "The only thing that's a little bit disconcerting is that we're beginning to plateau," he said, per CNBC. "In other words, the deceleration of cases is now plateaued, and in some areas of the country, we're starting to see a bit of an uptick."

Other top experts have warned that the holiday season could strengthen the sudden surge. During an appearance on CBS' Face the Nation on Nov. 14, Scott Gottlieb, MD, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), pointed out that certain regions were already seeing new waves of cases in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. "We're going to see a post-holiday spike, there's no question about that," Gottlieb warned.

Read on to see which states have experienced COVID surges of 30 percent or more over the past week as of Nov. 16, according to data from The Washington Post.

RELATED: This Is When the Pandemic Will Finally Be Over, Former FDA Head Now Says.

6
New York

cityscape photo of buildings and the skyline in New York City, New York
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 28 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 30 percent

Over the past 14 days, New York has seen a statewide increase in its daily average COVID cases of 42 percent, reaching 5,519 on Nov. 15, according to data from The New York Times. Fortunately, hospitalizations and deaths have not followed suit, seeing drops of 12 and four percent over the same period, respectively.

"Although hospitalizations remain low right now, we are seeing an uptick in recent days," New York City Health Commissioner David Chokshi, MD, said during a press conference on Nov. 15. "We had anticipated that this might occur as the weather gets cooler and people spend more time indoors, but compared to this time last year, we have many more tools to fight COVID-19 and work to keep a winter wave at bay."

5
Minnesota

building and lakes in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 70 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 30 percent

The COVID surge that's been affecting Minnesota for weeks is carrying on, with the past week seeing a rise of 30 percent in the average case count. According to state health officials, unvaccinated patients made up 70 percent of the 709 people with COVID-19 who were admitted to hospitals between Oct. 10 and 16, The Star Tribune reports.

"We are in the middle of a COVID blizzard right now in Minnesota, so that's a challenge," Kris Ehresmann, state infectious disease director for Minnesota, said during a press conference on Nov. 15. "If we could get people to consider implementing the layered mitigation, if we could get more people vaccinated, and if people continue to seek out boosters, that will make a difference."

RELATED: This Is the "Bad News" About COVID Right Now, Virus Expert Warns.

4
Michigan

The skyline of Detroit, Michigan at dusk
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 72 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 47 percent

Michigan is one of a handful of states that have been struggling through a persistent COVID surge. According to state health officials, the 7-day average for daily cases was 6,171 on Nov. 15, making it the highest recorded since April. Michigan has also seen an increase in hospitalizations and reported a positive test rate of 15.62 percent on Nov. 12.

3
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: 16 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 61 percent

In a press release on Nov. 15, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced that the state had added 2,179 COVID-19 cases over the weekend and was seeing a positive test rate of 2.89 percent. Overall, the state has seen an eight percent increase in hospitalizations and a 10 percent increase in deaths over the past two weeks, according to data from The Times.

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2
Indiana

The skyline of Indianapolis, Indiana
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 43 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 63 percent

Indiana has recently seen a sustained rise in COVID cases that is showing no signs of stopping. According to state health data, the latest seven-day case average of 2,401 marks a 50.9 percent increase over just three weeks ago. Positive test rates have also rebounded, spiking back up to a statewide average of 8.8 percent on Nov. 15 from 7.3 percent on Oct. 25.

1
Tennessee

An aerial shot of the skyline of Nashville, Tennessee
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 23 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 67 percent

As of Nov. 16, the COVID surge in Tennessee was the worst reported by any state, with a 67 percent increase over the past week to 23 new daily cases per 100,000 people. The most recent spike comes just days after Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill into law that will ban private businesses from enforcing vaccine mandates and prohibit schools from enacting mask mandates.

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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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