These 3 States Are the Coronavirus Hotspots No One Is Talking About
The Gulf Coast is witnessing a drastic spike in COVID-19 cases that is being eclipsed by their neighbors.
With California surpassing New York for the highest total number of coronavirus cases nationwide and Texas's hospitalization rate rising by the day, certain COVID-19 hotspots are rightly getting plenty of attention from both the media and federal officials. But as other areas of the country begin to see increased rates of infection, many of their struggles to control the virus are going noticed. According to The New York Times, three states in particular are quickly becoming worsening coronavirus hotspots and yet, no one seems to be talking about them.
These states, all in the Gulf Coast, are currently witnessing rises in very troubling COVID-19-related numbers. But there are a few reasons why these states have flown under the radar, the first being insufficient testing. "Some of it has always been there, we just weren't finding it," Susan Hassig, MD, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, told The Times. Additionally, Hassig points out that responses to the pandemic have been slow in the three states, which were quick to reopen. Read on to find out the growing COVID hotspots you haven't noticed. And for more hotspots the White House is worried about, check out 11 COVID Hotspots That Need to Get "Aggressive."
Louisiana battled initially high infection rates in New Orleans in March and April. But the state as a whole saw cases come flooding back after bars and restaurants reopened on May 14. In fact, Louisiana recently surpassed New York as the state with the most total reported cases per capita, The New York Times reports. (Louisiana has 2,189 COVID cases per 100,000 people and New York has 2,130.)
In a press conference on July 23, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that hospitals in his state were currently "overloaded" with coronavirus patients and that a second closure of all bars and restaurants statewide was in effect. And for more on where cases are surging in Louisiana, check out The Biggest Coronavirus Hotspot in Every State.
Alabama just reported back-to-back record-breaking days with 61 coronavirus deaths on July 22 and the most new cases in a single day (2,390) on July 23. According to Covid Act Now's map, Alabama is at a high risk level in terms of its infection rate, positive test rate, and low number of contact tracers available. It's at the critical level for daily new cases and ICU capacity.
Mississippi is witnessing its COVID-19 death rate increase faster than any other state in the U.S., The New York Times reports. A statewide mask mandate was enacted in Mississippi on July 10, only to be widely ignored—including by lawmakers themselves, who saw an outbreak of 41 cases among elected representatives. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
The Harvard Global Health Institute currently paints a troubling picture in all three states.
The HGHI COVID Risk Level map currently ranks Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi among the bottom five in the U.S. in terms of newly reported cases per day per 100,000 people. Alabama and Mississippi are both seeing 38 new cases per 100,000 people and Louisiana is reporting about 45 per 100,000 people. The only state seeing more new cases per capita is Florida. And to see how other states stack up, check out How Quickly Coronavirus Is Spreading in Every State.