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COVID is Rising Fastest in These States, As Expert Issue Surge Warnings

Learn which states are experiencing an increase in COVID cases. 
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Hospitalization rates for COVID are starting to increase, as experts warn this winter is going to be rough due to what many are calling a 'twindemic'–an uptick in COVID and influenza cases will strike at the same time. Epidemiologist Thomas Duszynski told FOX Weather, "The term 'twindemic' implies that there are both of these viruses circulating in the community. There is influenza which we see every year. And unfortunately, now we're seeing COVID-19 infections every year as well. So this idea that they're both going to maybe surge over the winter months, that's why we're calling this a twindemic."

As of October 27th, 26,983 COVID patients and 2,639 ICU patients with the virus are occupying inpatient hospital beds, around 4% of capacity, according to data compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). With mask mandates and social distancing lifted, health officials are expecting a difficult season. In addition, experts are looking to other countries for an indication of what could happen here. Dr. Barbara Bawer, Family Medicine Physician with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center tells us, "If Australia and other southern hemisphere countries are any indication of flu severity (they just had winter when we had summer), we are in for a severe flu season. Australia has had its worst flu season in the past 5 years – that's including the few years prior to the pandemic when no mask mandates or social distancing laws were in place."

As health officials prepare for a challenging few months ahead, experts continue to urge people to take COVID seriously. Mohammed Albouidani, MD, FACP Internal Medicine with Beverly Hospital and his own private practice tells us, "COVID still and will continue to exist so we always should take precaution about it and follow the expert advice all the time." He adds, "A COVID surge might still happen this winter as it's a new virus around two-years-old that continues to mutate. With people attending indoor get togethers, the high risk of a surge may happen since not everyone is vaccinated or up-to-date on their boosters." Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.



hawaii outdoor seating
Mark D. / Yelp

According to data compiled by the New York Times, the average number of daily Covid hospitalizations has jumped by two-thirds over the past 14 days. The data finds, "An average of 188 cases per day were reported in Hawaii in the last week. Cases have increased by 28 percent from the average two weeks ago. Deaths have decreased by 60 percent."

In a recent press release from the State of Hawaii, Department of Health, the DOH stated, it's  "enhancing the Hawai'i COVID-19 data dashboard to include reinfections. The percentage of COVID-19 cases involving individuals who had a prior infection is growing over time and now accounts for about 10% of new confirmed cases." State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble said in the release, "The data on reinfections underscores what we have been saying; that limited immunity from previous infection only lasts so long. Regardless of whether a person has had COVID-19 in the past, they should stay up to date on their vaccinations and boosters to get increased protection from severe illness and hospitalization."


New Mexico

Portrait of doctor with face mask and clipboard looking at camera in hospital.

The New York Times data on COVID shows, New Mexico has had a drastic increase in cases. "An average of 377 cases per day were reported in New Mexico in the last week. Cases have increased by 55 percent from the average two weeks ago. Deaths have increased by 85 percent."

The data also finds, "Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 1 in 3 residents [in New Mexico] have been infected, a total of 626,168 reported cases. At least 1 in 243 residents have died from the coronavirus, a total of 8,633 deaths." The New Mexico Department of Health is encouraging residents to take precautions and wrote on their site, "COVID-19 is a virus that spreads easily. The disease can range from mild to severe. Use all the tools we have available to keep you, your family, and your community safe. Vaccination, testing and treatment can help us all stay safe. And don't forget to mask up and social distance." 


New York

Man self tests for COVID-19 home test kit.

Health officials in New York are focused on hospitalization rates increasing due to COVID, the flu and RSV. The New York Times reports, "With most testing now done at home, it is hard to get a clear picture of the amount of virus circulating. The city's official Covid case numbers have been holding steady for two months, at about 2,000 cases reported per day. But hospitalizations have again started to increase. There were about 1,100 people hospitalized with Covid-19 in New York City on Oct. 24, up from 750 in mid-September, according to state data."

The media outlet also reports, "The rise in Covid hospitalizations is coinciding with the early arrival of flu season and a nationwide surge in RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, which can cause breathing difficulty in young children and older adults. The result is a brewing triple threat that is already increasing emergency room visits, and raising concern that hospitals could again be strained this winter."



Young woman taking a vaccine from her doctor.

New York Times' data shows the state has, "An average of 2,071 cases per day were reported in Illinois in the last week. Cases have increased by 35 percent from the average two weeks ago. Deaths have increased by 31 percent. Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 1 in 3 residents have been infected, a total of 3,811,411 reported cases. At least 1 in 317 residents have died from the coronavirus, a total of 39,947 deaths."

The Illinois Department of Public Health is encouraging prevention by the following safety precaution measures. 

–Stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination

–Improve ventilation in your home

–Wear a mask – cover your mouth and nose with a mask when in indoor and crowded outdoor public settings when Community Transmission Levels are high

–Stay home if you are sick

–Get tested for COVID-19 if needed

–Talk to your provider about treatment if you have COVID-19 and are at high risk of getting very sick

–If exposed to someone with COVID-19, wear a mask for 10 days and get tested

–Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing,"



Doctor holding syringe in hospital.

According to data the New York Times has collected, Oklahoma has had the biggest jump in COVID cases. "An average of 552 cases per day were reported in Oklahoma in the last week. Cases have increased by 97 percent from the average two weeks ago. Deaths have decreased by 76 percent." In addition, the data finds, "Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 1 in 3 residents have been infected, a total of 1,205,519 reported cases. At least 1 in 265 residents have died from the coronavirus, a total of 14,943 deaths."

That said, the state is moving towards an "endemic" status, according to a statement on the Oklahoma State Department of Health's website. "The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is beginning its transition toward the endemic phase of this pandemic. In doing so, we will publish COVID-19 data once a week, on Thursday. By releasing data weekly, Oklahomans will get a better picture of what is happening throughout the state. The weekly report will contain a seven day average of new cases based on collection date of the specimen or symptom onset occurring the previous week. Data released in the report is preliminary and subject to change if additional information is obtained by OSDH." And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather