These 5 States Are Seeing the Worst COVID Surges Right Now

A steady decline in national cases isn't being seen in these places.

The trajectory of the pandemic appears to be quite different than it was a month ago, as cases continue to decline on a national level. But despite the overall progress, the Delta variant has begun to cause more waves of COVID surges as it continues to spread through a new set of states.

The end of summer and the first weeks of fall have seen a drastic drop in COVID cases in most of the U.S., with the national 7-day average decreasing nearly 35 percent from 160,506 since Sept. 1 to 105,009 on Oct. 4, according to data from The Washington Post. But just as cases are steadily dropping across areas heavily impacted by the summer surge such as the South, other regions are seeing a rise in infections, hospitalizations, and deaths.

During an interview on CBS's Face the Nation on Oct. 3, Anthony Fauci, MD, chief White House COVID adviser, argued that now was not the time to get comfortable with the declining national numbers. "One of the things we want to make sure is that we have had over the last few weeks a turning around of the acceleration of this, starting to come down in cases and hospitalizations and soon deaths. The one thing that we don't want to do is that we don't want to become complacent and say, 'OK, now we need to pull back, we don't need any more people to get vaccinated.'"

Fauci added: "Let's focus like a laser on continuing to get those cases down, and we can do it by people getting vaccinated and also, in the situation where boosters are appropriate, to get people boosted, because we know they can help greatly in diminishing infection and diminishing advanced disease."

Read on to see which states have experienced COVID surges of 10 percent or more over the past week as of Oct. 5, according to data from The Washington Post.

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Says These States Could See the Next COVID Surge.


Denver Colorado skyscrapers snowy Longs Peak Rocky Mountains summer
  • New cases in the last seven days: 33 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 10 percent

Cases have fluctuated in Colorado after reaching a summer surge peak on Sept. 8, roughly plateauing at a high level in the weeks since. In a press conference on Oct. 1, health officials expressed optimism that the latest surge in the state will be the last before a steady decline in the coming weeks but warned that there was still progress to be made.

"We really need to see these hospitalizations go down significantly before we're going to feel comfortable with the hospital capacity we have as we start going into the colder weather season and people start moving indoors," Scott Bookman, COVID-19 Incident Commander for Colorado, said during a press conference on Oct. 1.


Maine House
  • New cases in the last seven days: 44 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 14 percent

Like other states affected by surges of the Delta variant, the recent wave of COVID cases in Maine is falling most heavily upon certain parts of the population. Those who are unvaccinated make up the vast majority of those developing severe cases: According to MaineHealth, which operates a network of 10 hospitals across the state, more than 70 percent of all patients hospitalized with COVID and 87 percent of those admitted to the ICU have not received their shots.

"This is clearly a surge of the unvaccinated," Joan Boomsma, MD, chief medical officer for MaineHealth, told The Boston Globe. "We are seeing higher demand for ICU beds than at any other time in the pandemic."


Minneapolis, Minnesota skyline
Shutterstock/Real Window Creative
  • New cases in the last seven days: 47 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 15 percent

September concluded as one of the most challenging months of the pandemic for Minnesota, reporting its highest number of deaths since January as active cases continued to increase to the highest levels seen all year. The state's most recent data report also indicated a 7-day positive test average of 6.4 percent, higher than the 5 percent mark officials have designated as a cause for concern.

RELATED: You're Now Banned From Visiting These 3 Destinations, Even If You're Vaccinated.


The skyline of Detroit, Michigan as seen from Lake Michigan
  • New cases in the last seven days: 40 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 18 percent

New COVID-19 infections in Michigan have been steadily increasing since late June and show no signs of slowing down. New cases have risen 23 percent in the past 14 days to a daily average of 3,972 as of Oct. 4, according to data from The New York Times. The number of hospitalized patients and deaths has also increased steadily over the past two weeks. The former rose 13 percent to a daily average of 1,704, and the latter jumped 44 percent to a daily average of 37.

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North Dakota

cityscape photo of downtown Grand Forks, North Dakota
  • New cases in the last seven days: 82 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 19 percent

Since early July, cases in North Dakota have been on the rise and appear to show no signs of decreasing. On Oct. 4, state health officials reported that the 14-day rolling average test positivity had risen once again to 7.6 percent. The figure has remained above the target of a 5 percent positivity rate for seven weeks, The Bismarck Tribune reports.

RELATED: Moderna CEO Just Predicted When the Pandemic Will Be Over for Good.

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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