These Are the States Where COVID Cases Are Skyrocketing

The number of new coronavirus cases over the past week in these states is troubling.

As much as many of us may have wanted to believe that the coronavirus pandemic was slowing down, numbers are now rising again across the country. Several states are facing a higher testing positivity rate, along with an increase in new cases and hospitalizations, all of which health experts have called seriously concerning. In fact, as of Sept. 23, there are 17 states that The New York Times categorizes as states "where new cases are higher and staying high." Based on the number of daily new cases per capita, these are the states where COVID cases are skyrocketing. And for more states that are struggling to contain coronavirus, These Are the 11 States With "Deeply Concerning" COVID Numbers.



Minnesota recently experienced its largest coronavirus spike since the start of the pandemic, and the numbers reflect that rise. Over the last seven days, the state has seen more than 6,070 new COVID cases, according to The New York Times, or 108 new cases per 100,000 people. There have been around 91,475 coronavirus cases in Minnesota to date. And for more states with significant spikes, These 4 States Just Had Their Biggest COVID Spikes of the Whole Pandemic.


jackson mississippi skyline

Earlier this month, Mississippi was identified as being one of the states likely included in the White House Coronavirus Task Force's "red zone" based on its positive test rate. That number has since improved, but Mississippi is still seeing a large number of new cases: There were 3,500 new COVID cases over the past week, or 118 per 100,000, giving the state a total of nearly 94,575 cases.


montgomery alabama

With almost 6,425 new coronavirus cases over the past seven days, the equivalent of 131 cases per 100,000 people, Alabama has now seen more than 147,150 cases. The state also has a high positive test rate of 13.6 percent, according to Covid Act Now. And for states in need of immediate intervention, These 4 States Should Lock Down Right Away, Harvard Researchers Say.


downtown coeur d'alene idaho

While Idaho only saw 2,370 more COVID cases over the last week, that gives the state a higher per-capita number than Alabama: 133 cases per 100,000 people, according to The New York Times. Covid Act Now also gives Idaho a higher positive test rate at 17.0 percent. As of Sept. 23, there have been over 38,675 coronavirus cases in Idaho.

South Carolina

bridge in charleston south carolina

South Carolina faced a significant COVID outbreak early in the pandemic, and numbers have been climbing again in the state. Just in the past seven days, there have been nearly 7,320 new coronavirus cases, or 142 cases per 100,000 people, contributing to almost 140,800 cases in the state. And for another state in trouble, This Surprising State Just Saw More COVID Deaths Than It Has Since May.


view from mountain in montana

In Montana, which is more sparsely populated, the number of new cases in the last week was lower (just over 1,510) but the per-capita rate was slightly higher (144 cases per 100,000 people). There have been more than 11,015 COVID cases in the state overall. And while Montana has a moderate positive test rate, the high infection rate of 1.18 means that "active cases are rapidly increasing," per Covid Act Now.



Tennessee has seen the same per-capita number of new cases as Montana over the past seven days: 144 cases per 100,000 people. That translates to over 9,850 new COVID cases, and a total of more than 182,760 cases in the state, The New York Times reports. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.


topeka kansas

The over 4,215 new coronavirus cases in Kansas over the past seven days, or 145 cases per 100,000 people, give the state almost 55,300 COVID cases thus far. The fact that Kansas also has a high positive test rate of 15.4 percent, as documented by Covid Act Now, means the state must take steps to mitigate the virus' spread.


omaha nebraska

Just above Kansas is Nebraska, which had 146 new COVID cases per capita over the last week. That's 2,815 new cases, which gives the state 41,785 coronavirus cases total. Nebraska also has a moderately high positive test rate of 12.8 percent, according to Covid Act Now. And for states with soaring infection rates, these are The 5 States Where COVID Is Now Spreading Fastest.


St. Louis, Missouri

Covid Act Now puts Missouri in the "critical" category, thanks to a "dangerous number of new cases." The site also notes the high positive test rate of 11.6 percent. According to The New York Times, Missouri has seen almost 10,800 new COVID cases in the last seven days, or 176 cases per 100,000 people. To date, there have been 118,560 coronavirus cases in Missouri.


little rock arkansas

In Arkansas, there were nearly 5,485 new coronavirus cases over the last week, or 182 cases per 100,000 people. That means the state is coming close to hitting a total of 77,000 COVID cases since the pandemic began. The high number of daily new cases per capita (26.0 cases per 100,000 people) has also put Arkansas in Covid Act Now's "critical" category.


salt lake city utah from above

In the last seven days, Utah added more than 6,040 new COVID cases, giving the state a total of over 65,060 cases. Per capita, that's an additional 188 cases per 100,000 people for the week. As Covid Act Now reports, Utah is also facing a high infection rate (1.24) and a high positive test rate (13.9 percent), which could mean the state is in serious trouble.


The skyline of Cedar Rapids, Iowa with a view of Mays Island

Iowa had a slightly higher number of new cases per capita over the last seven days: 189 cases per 100,000 people. That accounts for the more than 5,950 new COVID cases, which add up to 82,115 cases overall. While Iowa's infection rate is more promising than Utah's at 0.99, Covid Act Now puts the state's positive test rate at a concerning 15.8 percent.



According to The New York Times, there were almost 7,760 new coronavirus cases in Oklahoma in the past week, or 196 cases per 100,000 people. To date, there have been over 79,070 cases in the state. In contrast to Iowa, Oklahoma's positive test rate remains moderate, but its infection rate of 1.11 suggests a rapid increase in new cases, per Covid Act Now.


Green Bay is a city in and the county seat of Brown County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, at the head of Green Bay, a sub-basin of Lake Michigan

Wisconsin has earned plenty of attention for its ongoing coronavirus outbreak, which state officials have struggled to contain. The state has a high infection rate (1.25) and a high positive test rate (17.3 percent), according to Covid Act Now, and cases are growing quickly. In fact, Wisconsin saw almost 13,400 new COVID cases over the past seven days, or 230 cases per 100,000 people. So far, there have been nearly 110,400 coronavirus cases in the state.

South Dakota

rapid city, south dakota

The site of the notorious Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, a superspreader event, South Dakota continues to try to get its COVID outbreak under control. In the last week, there were 2,195 new coronavirus cases, which translates to 248 cases per 100,000 people and close to 19,200 cases overall. The state's high positive test rate of 17.9 percent, as Covid Act Now documents, is also cause for alarm.

North Dakota

The Badlands of Theodore Roosevelt National Park

North Dakota is seeing by far the most new COVID cases per capita in the country. The almost 2,445 additional coronavirus cases in the last seven days equal 321 cases per 100,000 people. As of Sept. 23, The New York Times reports that the state is closing in on 19,000 cases. Covid Act Now gives North Dakota a staggeringly high daily new case rate of 45.8 daily cases per 100,000 people, alongside a critically high positive test rate of 25.9 percent.

Filed Under