These 6 States Are "Heading in the Wrong Direction," Harvard Doctor Says

"Whatever they're doing [is] clearly not enough," says the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.

While certain COVID-19 hotspots may finally be showing signs of hope of containing the virus, the fight against the pandemic is far from over. Besides the well-known hotspots of Florida, California, and Texas, many areas of the U.S. are now witnessing worrisome trends, putting them on a trajectory of worsening numbers. And according to one Harvard doctor, there are at least half a dozen other states that could be in danger of this fate.

In a recent tweet, Ashish Jha, MD, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI), wrote that while some states with high case numbers may be beginning to plateau, "there are hotspot states that are still heading in the wrong direction."

Jha said in six states in particular, "cases are up, percent of test positives are up," and "hospitalizations and deaths [are] rising." "Whatever they're doing [is] clearly not enough," he concluded. These are the six states Jha says are still heading in the wrong direction. And for more on places that are also in trouble, check out These 6 States Could Become the Next Hotspots.


St. Louis, Missouri

According to HGHI's COVID Risk Level map, Missouri is currently seeing about 19.7 new cases per 100,ooo people per day. The state also just posted six straight days of more than 1,000 new cases, ABC News reported. With the positive test rate at 13 percent and rising, according to Covid Act Now, it's clear Missouri needs to change its course. And for more on places sinking lower in the rankings, check out This State Now Has the Single Worst COVID-19 Infection Rate in the U.S.


The skyline of downtown Boise, Idaho at twilight

After Jha claimed just a week ago that Idaho was in a "very bad situation," the Gem State appears to have fallen even further into trouble. The state is seeing 28.2 new cases per 100,000 residents per day, the HGHI's COVID Risk Level map notes. Because Idaho is currently witnessing a continuation of its already drastic rise in new cases, Covid Act Now moved the state's ranking from "high" to "critical." As of July 27, Idaho's current case level stands at nearly 19,000, with 3,302 of those cases reported in the past seven days, according to The New York Times. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.



Tennessee currently finds itself in a precarious pandemic situation. Daily new cases have skyrocketed over the past month, and are now at 29.5 new cases per 100,000 people per day. Despite this concerning trend and the White House's pleas for the state shut down its bars to get those numbers in check, Gov. Bill Lee has declined to do so. And for more on a state that's getting things under control, check out The Only State Where New Coronavirus Cases Are Going Down Right Now.


las vegas strip in nevada

Nevada has seen a sharp rise in cases—especially in hard-hit Clark County, where some of Las Vegas's casinos have been uncovered as "superspreader" sites. The state is currently seeing 34.1 new cases per 100,000 people a day, the HGHI COVID Risk Level map notes. Unfortunately, Nevada is also witnessing a serious rise in hospitalizations, with 81 percent of its ICU beds currently in use. These two numbers in particular have earned Nevada a "critical" label from Covid Act Now.


huntsville alabama skyline

As one of the coronavirus hotspots that previously managed to stay below the radar, Alabama is unfortunately only seeing its situation get worse. Besides being ranked in the bottom five nationally for daily new cases per capita (34.1 per 100,000 people), HGHI notes, the state is also witnessing an uptick in the number of COVID-related deaths occurring daily. As of July 27, there was 81,115 total reported cases, with 12,283 of those cropping up in the past seven days, according to The New York Times. And for more on specific counties that are seeing COVID-19 cases skyrocket, check out The Biggest Coronavirus Hotspot in Every State.


Jackson, Mississippi, USA skyline over the Capitol Building.

Mississippi has seen particularly worrying COVID numbers as of late. The state's daily number of new cases has risen to 44.4 per 100,000 people, according to HGHI, and Covid Act Now's data shows that the positive test rate has shot up to a "critical" 22.1 percent. As of July 27, Mississippi was reporting nearly 53,000 total coronavirus cases and 1,500 deaths statewide. In fact, when looking at cases per capita, Mississippi's infection rate is one of the highest in the country, only behind Louisiana and Florida. And for more states causing concern, The White House Is Trying to Stop These 5 States From Becoming Hotspots.

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Zachary Mack
Zachary covers beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He's the owner of Alphabet City Beer Co. in New York City and is a Certified Cicerone. Read more
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