The state of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shift, as the highly contagious Omicron and its subvariants have crested in some areas and are rising rapidly in others. Health officials say it's important to know the level of community transmission in your area, so you can make informed choices about preventative measures like masking and activities like large gatherings. These are the five states where COVID is rising the fastest. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
According to the New York Times' COVID data tracker, the state's new COVID cases are up 54% in the last 14 days. "Fortunately, we're not seeing the mortality impact," Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the state health officer, told MPB News this week. "Don't wanna underenforce the importance of getting treatment and everything, because we are gonna lose folks. And if it's that one person you love, it's 100% tragedy for you. But 95% plus of people have some immunity to COVID, so that's making all the difference."
In Alabama, new cases are up 52% over 14 days ago. This comes the same week as a national scorecard on COVID response ranked the state last because of its low vaccination rate, hospital stress levels, and high numbers of excess deaths.
According to Times data, new COVID cases have risen 34% in Montana in the last 14 days. "We are definitely seeing an uptick. I think it's also important to remember that the numbers are only the reported numbers, but there are people who are positive and not testing or testing at home and not self-reporting, so not only are we seeing an increase in cases we know, the actual amount of cases is somewhere between a little higher to somewhere much higher," health official D'Shane Barnett told the Longview News-Journal on June 11. About 55% of the state's residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID, about 10% below the national average.
In Louisiana, new cases have increased 26% over two weeks ago. This week, health officials said the state is experiencing its sixth surge of COVID. "And thankfully as compared to prior surges, on average people are not getting very sick with this variety of COVID that's being spread right now," said state health officer Dr. Joe Kanter. "In prior surges, this amount of COVID out there would translate into a much larger degree of hospitalizations and deaths. We're thankfully not seeing that this time around." Health officials say of those hospitalized with COVID, 63% are not fully vaccinated, and 87% are not fully vaccinated or boosted.
New COVID cases in Arkansas are up 23% in the last 14 days, according to the Times tracker. State health officials urged residents to get their young children vaccinated against the virus. (Vaccines are now available for children as young as six months.) "These vaccines have been very well tested. We have a year and half worth of monitoring that we've done since the vaccine was first authorized in adults and in older teens," Dr. Robert Hopkins told THV 11.
How to Stay Safe Out There
Follow the fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, 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.
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