These 6 States Are Now in "Critical" COVID-19 Situations, Experts Say
Based on infection rates, positive tests, and other criteria, these are the states to worry about.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to hit the country hard, and states across the country are seeing surging numbers. Trying to stay on top of the data can be overwhelming, but the experts at Covid Act Now—epidemiologists, healthcare workers, and public policy specialists, among others—continue to keep an updated map where they crunch the numbers to assess the risk of coronavirus in every state. Based on their assessment, these are currently the six states at "critical" COVID-19 risk levels. And for more on your personal risk, The CDC Says If You Live or Work Here, You Need a Weekly COVID-19 Test.
Alabama is in a "critical" situation, according to Covid Act Now, thanks to a high infection rate (the number of people the average sick person will infect) of 1.10 and a high positive test rate of 13.2 percent. While the state appears to have a sufficient number of ICU beds available for coronavirus patients, it does not have nearly enough contact tracers to trace new infections. As of July 2, The New York Times reports almost 39,000 coronavirus cases in Alabama, and over 970 deaths. And for more on the spread in Alabama and its neighboring states, This Is Why Coronavirus Is Skyrocketing in the South, Harvard Doctor Says.
The situation in Arizona is dire, as Covid Act Now sees it. Three of the four categories the site uses to assess risk are in the "critical" category: the positive test rate of 24 percent, the 100 percent of necessary ICU beds in use, and the contact tracers' ability to trace only three percent of new cases in 48 hours. Arizona's infection rate of 1.21 is merely considered "high." As of now, there are more than 84,150 coronavirus cases in the state, with around 1,725 deaths. And for more on the rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations, This One State Is Scoring Patients to See Who Will Get COVID Care.
In Florida, the infection rate of 1.38 and the positive test rate of 15.9 percent—which mean the virus is spreading quickly and not enough testing is being done—make it a high-risk state. And despite a good score for the number of remaining ICU beds, the lack of sufficient contact tracers put it in Covid Act Now's "critical" category. Florida's new cases more than doubled last week; currently, there are almost 159,000 coronavirus cases in the state, and there have been around 3,550 deaths. And for more on the states with the greatest COVID-19 risk, Your Risk of Contracting Coronavirus Is Highest in These Two States.
Like Florida, Idaho's new coronavirus cases more than doubled last week, with Reuters reporting a 116.3 percent rise. It's not a surprise, then, to see the state added to Covid Act Now's "critical" list. Idaho's infection rate of 1.44 is especially high, but the state also has a high positive test rate of 11 percent and not nearly enough contact tracers to track down the rapidly increasing number of new cases. As of July 2, Idaho has almost 6,380 COVID-19 cases, and there have been a little over 90 deaths.
Missouri's numbers may not appear as alarming as those from other states, but taken together, Covid Act Now calls the situation "critical." Although the state gets good marks for the number of ICU beds available, Missouri has a high infection rate of 1.18, which indicates the virus is spreading fast. Combine that with a moderate positive test rate of 6.1 percent and only enough contact tracers to trace 3 percent of new infections, and you get a state in the red, per Covid Act Now's assessment. There are now nearly 23,600 coronavirus cases in Missouri, with about 1,050 deaths. And for more on your personal COVID-19 risk, This Is How Likely You Are to Get Coronavirus This Year, Doctor Says.
South Carolina has been in the news recently for its rising coronavirus rates among young people, and the outbreaks traced back to one of its popular tourist destinations. Covid Act Now has added the state to its "critical" category based on the high infection and positive test rates of 1.23 and 13.9 percent, respectively. According to the site, South Carolina also only has enough contact tracers to follow six percent of new coronavirus infections. There are currently around 37,920 cases in the state, with about 765 deaths. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.