These 5 States Need to Take "Urgent Action," Harvard Doctor Says

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and positive test rates are rising dramatically in these states.

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, there are outbreaks raging in so many different parts of the country that it can be difficult to know which states to focus on. There has been significant attention on states like Texas—where residents are being asked to stay indoors—and Florida—which has been called the next coronavirus epicenter for the U.S. But in a recent Twitter thread, Ashish Jha, MD, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, says there are five states that "deserve more attention" because of rising cases, positive test rates, and hospitalizations. According to Jha, "each of these states needs to take more urgent action to curtail its rising number of infections." And for states that are on the right path, Two More States Are Now on Track to Contain Coronavirus.


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Jha notes that cases in Georgia are up 133 percent, with the rate of positive tests rising from 5.3 to 14.2 percent. (That passes the threshold for self-quarantine for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, meaning anyone traveling to those states from Georgia will have to isolate for 14 days.) Hospitalizations in the state are also up 38 percent. As of June 25, there are nearly 66,300 coronavirus cases in Georgia, with almost 2,660 deaths, per The New York Times. And for another state that's in trouble, This State Is "Starting to Lose This Battle" With Coronavirus, Doctor Warns.


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In Mississippi, Jha points to a 29 percent rise in cases and an 8.1 percent rise in hospitalizations. The percentage of positive tests has risen from 7.4 to 16.1 percent. After the state's recent record-breaking case numbers, Mississippi State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs, MD, warned residents about a potential ventilator shortage in the fall. As it stands, there are more than 23,420 COVID-19 cases in Mississippi, and there have been over 1,010 deaths.


tulsa oklahoma skyline

Per Jha's thread, Oklahoma has seen a staggering 286 percent rise in cases (there was a 111.3 percent rise for the week ending in June 21) and an increase in the rate of positive tests from 2.3 to 7.9 percent. Hospitalizations have gone up by 41 percent. There are currently over 11,500 coronavirus cases in Oklahoma, with just over 370 deaths. And for more states experiencing a rapid rise in cases, here are 9 States Where Coronavirus Cases Are Doubling Every Three Weeks.


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Nevada has experienced a 172 percent rise in cases and a 22 percent rise in hospitalizations, with the positive test rate increasing from 3.6 to 9.5 percent. On June 24, the state issued a statewide mandate on wearing face masks to try to slow the spread of COVID-19. As of June 25, there are approximately 14,460 coronavirus cases in Nevada, and there have been almost 500 deaths. And for states that need more than new mask laws, Mandatory Masks "Won't Be Enough" in These 4 States, Doctor Says.

South Carolina

charleston south carolina from above

In South Carolina, cases are up 142 percent and hospitalizations have risen by 62 percent. The rate of positive tests has gone from 11.7 percent to 14.3 percent. South Carolina recently got attention because of several outbreaks traced back to one of the state's most popular tourist destinations, Myrtle Beach. According to CNN, cases across the state are now doubling every two weeks, a rate matched only by Arizona and Florida. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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