Next Week Could Be the Worst of the COVID Pandemic, Expert Warns

"We're going to see a rapid acceleration in cases," the former FDA chief says.

circle

After months of warnings from top medical advisors, it appears that fall is indeed ushering in another coronavirus surge across the U.S. As numbers continue to climb, experts are now cautioning that some of the worst days could be waiting for us starting just next week, when the spread of the virus will really start to kick in. "I think we're about two or three weeks behind Europe—so we're about a week away from starting to enter a period where we're going to see a rapid acceleration in cases," former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb, MD, recently said. Read on for more about his warnings, and to see how your area is faring, check out This Is How Bad the COVID Outbreak Is in Your State.

In an Oct. 19 interview with CNBC's Shepard Smith, Gottlieb echoed previous concerns that the coming seasons would present unique and difficult challenges to an already "fatigued" public. "It's going to be a difficult fall and winter," he warned. "We're seeing hospitalizations go up in 42 states right now, cases are going up in 45 states, and there really is no backstop."

Gottlieb explained that "the summer was a backstop of sorts to the spring surge and we have no therapeutic backstop and this season—the fall and winter season—is when this coronavirus is going to want to spread."

He also said that while he was optimistic that a safe and effective vaccine could be developed, it's also likely that it won't become widely available until early next year. "We can look to happier days, but these are going to be some tough months ahead," he said.

But even before we enter what may be one of the worst weeks of the pandemic, states are already posting record-high numbers of new cases that top their previous summer peaks, according to the Brown School of Public Health's COVID Risk Levels color-coded map. Right now, 20 states are at the "tipping point" (i.e. colored red) on Brown's map. "Once a community reaches the red risk level, stay-at-home orders become necessary again," the experts advise.

Read on to see if your state is home to one of the worst COVID surges as of Oct. 20, and for more on new public health guidelines, check out The CDC Now Says You Should Wear Your Mask in These 7 Places.

20
Alaska

Anchorage Skyline with a winter reflection
iStock

25.3 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

And for another state that's in trouble, This State's Governor Just Urged Residents "Not to Travel" Due to COVID.

19
New Mexico

taos traditional adobe homes at sunset
Shutterstock

25.9 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

18
Minnesota

downtown minneapolis minnesota
Shutterstock

26.1 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

17
Kansas

topeka kansas
Shutterstock

26.4 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

16
Indiana

indianapolis indiana
Shutterstock

26.8 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

And if you want more pandemic updates every day, sign up for our newsletter.

15
Mississippi

gulfport mississippi tree and highway, heart attack cities
Shutterstock

27.2 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

14
Illinois

chicago illinois
Shutterstock

28.1 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

13
Oklahoma

Oklahoma City
Shutterstock

28.7 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

 

And for a tell-tale sign you could have the virus, check out If You Can't Smell These 2 Things, You May Have COVID.

12
Missouri

Missouri
Shutterstock

29.4 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

11
Tennessee

nashville tennessee neon lights at night
Shutterstock

29.7 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

10
Arkansas

little rock arkansas skyline
Shutterstock

30.1 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

9
Iowa

The skyline of Davenport, Iowa at sunset with the Mississippi River in the foreground
iStock

33.8 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

8
Wyoming

Panoramic aerial view of Jackson Hole homes and beautiful mountains on a summer morning, Wyoming.
iStock

34.9 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

7
Idaho

boise idaho skyline
Shutterstock

36.1 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

And for more symptoms to be aware of, know that If Your Food Tastes Like These 2 Things, You May Have COVID.

6
Wisconsin

milwaukee wisconsin skyline
Shutterstock

41.5 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

5
Nebraska

The skyline of Omaha, Nebraska
iStock

42.1 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

4
Utah

salt lake city utah from above
Shutterstock

43.5 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

3
Montana

missoula montana from above
Shutterstock

55.1 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

2
South Dakota

The main street of Deadwood, South Dakota lined with shops and a passing vehicle.
iStock

76.0 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

1
North Dakota

university of north dakota
Shutterstock

88.4 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people

And if you think you might have had a silent case, check out If You Can't Do This, You May Have Had COVID, New Study Finds.

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.
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
Filed Under
Best Life
Live smarter, look better,​ and live your life to the absolute fullest.
Get Our Newsletter Every Day!
Enter your email address to get the best tips and advice.
close modal
close modal
GET YOUR FREE GIFT
SUBSCRIBE