States on Track to See the Biggest COVID Surges by October

Source: timnewman / E+ via Getty Images

Data provided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates a growing concern over an increase in COVID-19 cases this fall. Already, hospitalizations are increasing and deaths have been rising.

To determine the states where COVID-19 will be worst in October, 24/7 Tempo reviewed COVID-19 forecasts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. States were ranked based on the number of projected COVID-19 hospital admissions in the week ending Oct. 2, 2023, per 100,000 residents. Projected COVID-19 admissions are based on a CDC ensemble forecast combining individual model forecasts from Carnegie Mellon University, Indiana University, Northeastern University, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Supplemental data on the number of recorded COVID-19 hospital admissions in the week ending Aug. 26, 2023; the total number of recorded COVID-19 hospital admissions since Aug.1, 2020; the total number of deaths due to COVID-19 since January 2020; and the COVID-19 test positivity rate for the week of Aug. 20-26, 2023, also came from the CDC. Population data used to adjust hospital admission and death counts per capita came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population and Housing Unit Estimates program and is for July 1, 2022.

After falling to an all-time low in June, the number of hospitalized COVID patients has been rising. For the week ending Aug. 26, there were about 17,400 Americans hospitalized because of COVID, an increase of nearly 16% from the prior week, according to the CDC.

The agency says the current increases in cases and hospitalizations are likely because of the XBB sub-variants, such as EG.5, and FL.1.5.1. The BA.2.86 variant, which has been detected in Michigan, Texas, New York, Ohio, and Virginia, is not as bad as feared at first. (These are the states where the COVID-19 surge is the worst right now.)  

The projected number of COVID-19 hospital admissions for the week ending Oct. 2, 2023, is lowest in less-populated states such as New Mexico, Maine, and Nebraska. Seven of the 10 states with the highest projected number of COVID-19 hospital admissions are in the South. (Here are the states with the most health-conscious residents.)

The states with the lowest positivity rates, meanwhile, are mostly in the Northeast and New England, while rates are higher in the South and West.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.