These 10 States Are Seeing the Worst COVID Surges Right Now
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  • Post published:26/11/2021
  • Post last modified:26/11/2021

The pandemic’s latest resurgence shows no signs of slowing down as the national case average continues to rise as Thanksgiving approaches. Now, as millions of people prepare to travel and gather to celebrate with loved ones, some states are facing particularly bad COVID surges in a situation that has caused concern for some top health officials.

During a press conference on Nov. 22, Rochelle Walensky, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported that the national weekly average had spiked 18 percent from the previous week, while average hospitalizations had risen six percent in the same period. She then urged everyone to take advantage of the expanded eligibility for booster shots announced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Nov. 19. “Heading into the winter months, when respiratory viruses are more likely to spread, and with plans for increased holiday season travel and gatherings, boosting people’s overall protection against COVID-19 disease and death was important to do now,” Walensky said.

“Most tragic are the vaccine-preventable deaths we are still seeing from this disease,” Walensky added. “Even in our updated data, unvaccinated people are at 14 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19 than people who are vaccinated.”

During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Nov. 21, Anthony Fauci, MD, chief White House COVID adviser, suggested that families who were fully vaccinated could spend the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday together without having to wear masks, adding that he was planning on doing that with his family. However, he cautioned anyone traveling or who is unsure of the vaccine status of anyone around them that they should don a face covering to protect themselves and others.

“Get vaccinated and you can enjoy the holidays very easily. And if you’re not, please be careful,” Fauci said. “Get tested if you need to get tested when you’re getting together, but that’s not a substitute for getting vaccinated. Get yourself vaccinated and you can continue to enjoy interactions with your family and others.”

Read on to see which states have experienced COVID surges of 25 percent or more over the past week as of Nov. 23, according to data from The Washington Post.

RELATED: 60 Percent of Virus Experts Wouldn’t Do These 6 Things Right Now, Data Shows.

10

Connectictut

hartford connecticut skylinehartford connecticut skyline
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 20 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 26 percent

While addressing rising cases in the state during a press conference on Nov. 22, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said the outlook was much better than the previous Thanksgiving holiday. “We’re much better prepared than we were a year ago, much better prepared than we’ve been,” he said.

But other doctors pointed out that the state’s trajectory shows people have been too quick to drop necessary precautions. “Vaccination, masking, testing, social distancing would be the best thing, but if that’s not happening and you’re traveling, those three things are the way out,” Ulysses Wu, MD, system director of infectious disease for Hartford Healthcare, told local CBS affiliate WFSB.

9

New Jersey

New Jersey, Jersey City skylineNew Jersey, Jersey City skyline
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 22 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 26 percent

The latest COVID-19 spike in New Jersey has brought a wave of new infections with an increase of hospitalizations in its wake. But according to local health officials, the situation is likely to be different from last year’s holiday season. “Because of our high vaccination rate, we’re hoping severe disease, hospitalizations moderate,” Judy Persichilli, the state’s health commissioner, said at a press briefing.

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Just Laid Out the Worst Case Scenario for the End of the Pandemic.

8

Virginia

The skyline of Richmond, Virginia at sunset.The skyline of Richmond, Virginia at sunset.
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 19 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 26 percent

According to the latest update from the Virginia Department of Health on Nov. 22, cases in the state were rising along with the positive test rate, which hit 5.9 percent. It currently ranks 14th out of the states in share of people receiving at least one shot, with 73.8 percent of its residents at least partially vaccinated.

7

Illinois

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  • New cases in the last seven days: 35 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 27 percent

On Nov. 22, public health officials in Illinois reported that the state’s positive test rate from Nov. 15 through Nov. 21 was 3.9 percent. They also said 1,833 patients were hospitalized with the virus statewide, including 341 in the ICU.

RELATED: If You Notice This at a Restaurant, Don’t Eat There, Virus Experts Warn.

6

Arkansas

little rock arkansas skylinelittle rock arkansas skyline
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 21 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 28 percent

A week after Arkansas became one of the first states to expand eligibility for boosters ahead of the federal government, local officials urged residents to protect themselves as the holiday approached. “Our vaccines increased again from the previous week,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a Tweet. “As we continue to see cases increase from the week before and with Thanksgiving less than one week away, getting the vaccine has never been more important.”

5

New Hampshire

New HampshireNew Hampshire
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 75 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 29 percent

New Hampshire officials announced on Nov. 21 that the state was currently seeing its worst infection numbers since the beginning of the pandemic. Data shows an all-time high of 7,966 active cases now reported, which tops the record set last week of 7,632 and is double the rate seen at the beginning of November.

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4

Rhode Island

waterplace park in providence rhode islandwaterplace park in providence rhode island
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 45 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 39 percent

Rhode Island health officials reported 1,144 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend on Nov. 21, with a positivity rate of 5.4 percent as cases continue to rise in the state. “As we move back indoors, as winter sports start to happen, we need to double down on those mitigation measures that we know work,” Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, Rhode Island Health Department Director, said during a press conference on Nov. 16.

3

Maine

The skyline of Portland, MaineThe skyline of Portland, Maine
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 50 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 40 percent

Maine has struggled recently with a COVID-19 surge that is mainly affecting unvaccinated residents and has placed a strain on the healthcare system. As of Nov. 21, the state had broken its hospitalization record when it reported 287 patients with the virus, including 80 in critical care and 30 on a ventilator, The Portland Press Herald reports.

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Says He Would Take This COVID Precaution “In a Second”.

2

Massachusetts

Boston Massachusetts Winter EscapeBoston Massachusetts Winter Escape
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 39 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 41 percent

According to state health officials, the positive test rate in Massachusetts was up to 3.07 percent as of Nov. 21, nearly double the rate of 1.75 percent reported on the first of the month. The commonwealth is also seeing a seven-day hospitalization average of 647, up from a low earlier in the month of 515.

1

Hawaii

An aerial photo of Waikiki Beach and downtown Honolulu, Hawaii with Diamond Head in the backgroundAn aerial photo of Waikiki Beach and downtown Honolulu, Hawaii with Diamond Head in the background
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  • New cases in the last seven days: 11 cases per 100,000 people
  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 41 percent

The latest COVID surge in Hawaii brought its all-time count to 86,939 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, making it the state with the fewest infections per capita, according to The New York Times. It has a positive test rate of 1.6 percent as of Nov. 22, according to COVID Act Now.

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