These 4 States Should Be Locking Down This Month, Researchers Say

A new report pinpoints states that need to shut down in August because of rising COVID deaths.

When many states locked down in March and April, coronavirus cases started to come down, too. But once states began opening up again in May, COVID-19 numbers started to climb, and now they've skyrocketed to new heights. In just two and a half weeks, the U.S. added a million positive cases to its growing total. Still, many officials are hesitant to shut down their states again because of the negative impact lockdowns have on local economies and on citizens' mental well-being. But, according to researchers from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), some states may be too far gone to avoid another lockdown. The researchers project that "states will re-impose a package of mandates including nonessential business closures and stay-at-home orders when the daily death rate reaches 8 per million." And using that metric, it seems the following four states should be locking down again in August. And for more ways to stay safe, check out 24 Things You're Doing Every Day That Put You at COVID Risk.


Jackson, Mississippi, USA cityscape at dusk.

Mississippi's coronavirus outbreak isn't as widely talked about as some other states', but the Magnolia State has already surpassed a daily death rate of 8 people per million. And it doesn't help that only about 34 percent of Mississippians are wearing a mask when they leave their home, according to the IMHE report. If the state closes all nonessential businesses, issues a stay-at-home order, and limits travel this month, the researchers estimate that the state could lower its daily death rate to 3 to 4 people per million by December.

South Carolina

Aerial view of Rainbow Row in downtown Charleston, SC

According to the IHME report, up to 6 percent of South Carolinians are infected with COVID-19 and, like Mississippi, more than 8 people per million are dying each day. To get that number down to 1 to 2 deaths per million by December, South Carolina needs to close all nonessential businesses, issue a stay-at-home order, and limit travel this month, according to the IHME researchers. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.


An aerial view of downtown Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding urban area.

Arizona was one of the first states to experience a high resurgence of coronavirus over the last few months. And while new cases have started to drop, deaths are still climbing. According to the IHME report, Arizona's daily death rate is up there with Mississippi's and South Carolina's at over 8 deaths per million. Arizona has already imposed some closures, but the IMHE researchers recommend the state close all nonessential businesses, issue a stay-at-home order, and limit travel in August. And for more states falling behind, check out This COVID Hotspot State Is the Only One Getting Worse.


Florida, West Palm Beach,CR

Like Arizona, Florida has also managed to lower its cases after a huge spike, with up to 6 percent of the state population infected with the coronavirus now. Unfortunately, Florida's death rate has risen to a daily estimate of 7 to 8 deaths per million. According to the new IHME report, the state needs to take August to restrict all gatherings, close all nonessential businesses, issue a stay-at-home order, and limit travel. And for things you're doing that put you at risk of contracting COVID, check out This Is How High Your COVID Risk Is Based on Your Everyday Behavior.


Best Life is constantly monitoring the latest news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed. Here are the answers to your most burning questions, the ways you can stay safe and healthy, the facts you need to know, the risks you should avoid, the myths you need to ignore,and the symptoms to be aware of. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.
Kali Coleman
Kali is an assistant editor at Best Life. Read more
Filed Under