5 States Where Coronavirus Cases Are Rising Sharply

Tennessee, Louisiana, and Texas are among the states with the highest increase in COVID-19 cases.

Given that many states in the country have started reopening, it might seem as though the COVID-19 pandemic is already over. It's true that there are encouraging signs, like the fact that the numbers of infections are going down in most states. However, there's still no coronavirus vaccine, scientists are unsure about the level of immunity patients have after recovering from the virus, and numbers do continue to grow in certain areas across the U.S. Based on the five biggest week-to-week percentage increases for the week ending May 17, here are the states where coronavirus cases are rising sharply.

Tennessee: 32.9 percent

skyline of memphis tennessee

With 2,403 new cases, bringing the total number up to 17,388, Tennessee saw a 32.9 percent rise in coronavirus cases over the course of one week, according to Reuters. The New York Times now has the number of cases at nearly 18,000, with the majority of cases in metropolitan areas like Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville. There have also been high per-capita infection rates in Trousdale, Bledsoe, and Lake counties.

Tennessee began phase one of its reopening plan in late April, with Gov. Bill Lee saying that he trusted business owners and customers to voluntarily comply with the guidelines provided. The plan's second phase will include amusement parks, theaters, and large museums. And to stay safe as lockdown is lifted, check out these 9 Mistakes You Shouldn't Make During Reopening.

Louisiana: 25.3 percent

skyline of shreveport louisiana

For the week ending in May 17, coronavirus cases in Louisiana rose 25.3 percent, per Reuters, with an added 2,832 cases bringing the total to 34,432. According to The New York Times, that number is now closer to 35,000. The outbreaks have centered around the bigger cities: New Orleans, in particular, with other outbreaks in Baton Rouge and Shreveport.

Louisiana began the first phase of reopening on May 15, with hair salons, churches, and restaurants opening, still under certain restrictions. Gov. John Bel Edwards said he expected the next phase of reopening, which would include the opening of bars and larger venues, to begin in early June. And to learn which states mandate masks, here are 7 States Where You're Breaking the Law if You Don't Wear a Face Mask.

Texas: 21.8 percent

skyline of dallas texas

Texas' additional 8,915 cases—bringing the total to 47,784—meant a 21.8 percent increase, according to the Reuters report. The New York Times now says the total number of cases is closer to 50,000. The county with the highest per-capita number of cases is Potter, which has 1,774 infections per 100,000 people. The largest number of cases overall, however, is in Harris County, where Houston is located.

Following Texas' biggest one-day rise in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Greg Abbott announced major reopenings throughout the state, with offices, child care centers, bars, bowling alleys, and more opening again. While bars and breweries will only be allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity, restaurants will be allowed to increase their capacity to 50 percent.

North Carolina: 20.9 percent

skyline of downtown charlotte north carolina

North Carolina saw a 20.9 percent rise in coronavirus cases, per Reuters, with an additional 3,748 cases bringing the total in the state to 18,512. Those cases now top 19,000, as The New York Times reports, with most in Mecklenburg County (where Charlotte is located), Wake County (where Raleigh is), and Durham County. Per-capita, there are also clusters in the smaller counties of Wayne and Chatham.

On May 18, Gov. Roy Cooper said that he hoped to begin the second phase of reopening by the end of the week, after starting the first phase of reopening on May 8. According to Cooper, the state is meeting its goal of testing between 5,000 and 7,000 people per day, and is keeping a close eye on the data. And for places to avoid, check out The 7 Most Dangerous Spots You Can Catch Coronavirus.

Michigan: 18.3 percent

skyline of detroit michigan

Of these five states, Michigan had the largest number of cases overall, with 51,142 at the close of the week ending May 17. That was an 18.3 percent increases in cases, with 4,004 added, as Reuters reported. The number of cases are now closer to 52,000, according to The New York Times. The majority of cases are clustered around Detroit, with the city's county, Wayne, accounting for over 19,000 of the cases.

On May 18, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer outlined plans for a phased reopening beginning with Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, areas that have not been hit as hard by coronavirus. This reopening includes business, offices, and restaurants and bars, both limited to 50 percent capacity. And for more ways to stay safe post-reopening, find out which 7 Things You'll Never Want to Touch Again After the Coronavirus.

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