As the world cautiously emerges from the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns loom large as surges of the virus reemerge in various regions. In the U.S., several states are seeing upticks in hospitalizations and positive test rates, and health officials and local governments are once again urging measures such as mask mandates and booster shots to curb the spread. (These are the states with the most health-conscious residents.)
To determine the states where COVID-19 is the worst right now, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on recent COVID-19 hospital admissions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. States were ranked based on the number of new hospital admissions due to COVID-19 per 100,000 state residents for the week of Sept. 3-9, 2023.
Analysis of CDC data shows clear regional divides, which have not changed much since the previous week. Generally, Southern states are still dealing with the highest new weekly COVID-19 hospitalization admission rates, with Florida again topping the list for new weekly admissions per capita, followed closely by Arkansas and Louisiana. (Florida accounts for almost half the places on our list of 25 American vacation destinations emerging as COVID hotspots.)
The news is bad in other places, too. Positive test rates have skyrocketed to over 17% in New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, indicating widespread community transmission.
States like Minnesota and New Hampshire have relatively low hospital admission rates and have maintained this performance since August 2020. This suggests stable COVID-19 management. Vermont and Hawaii are among the states with consistently low death rates as well as hospital admissions, again indicating successful management of the pandemic.
Though COVID precautions have long been relaxed, the brewing fall surge reminds us that the virus remains a threat. With colder weather approaching, health experts warn vulnerable individuals to exercise caution, as runaway COVID transmission could continue getting people very sick this winter.
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