COVID Cases Are "More Than Doubling" in These States, Experts Warn
Driven by the highly contagious BA.2 subvariant, new COVID cases are rising in many parts of the U.S.—and some states have begun to see exponential increases. The good news: Experts say BA.2 doesn't seem to be causing more severe illness. But precautions are still necessary. Here are five states where the rate of COVID cases per 100,000 residents has more than doubled in the last 14 days, and what a health experts says you should do this summer. 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, cases in Indiana are up 221% in the last 14 days. "There is a big caveat to these numbers: At-home tests are not reported to the Indiana Department of Health," WFYI reported. "The state eliminated metrics like positivity rates, aligning with a national push from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But hospitalizations remain at nearly pandemic-lows, with COVID-19 accounting for less than 3 percent of the state's total hospital census."
The Times tracker indicates that cases in the state have risen 196% in the last two weeks. At the same time, hospitalizations have slightly declined (4%). The Herald-Dispatch reported that as of Friday, 54% of people hospitalized for COVID are unvaccinated. Overall, since January 2021, more than 86% of COVID deaths in the state have been unvaccinated people.
Last week, four major countries in Hawaii moved from "low" to "medium" community transmission of coronavirus, as cases in the state rose 146% in the last 14 days. At the same time, the state's response has transitioned out of the pandemic phase, Gov. David Ige said on Apr. 27. "COVID-19 isn't going away. In fact, case counts are increasing and the experts expect that COVID will be with us for the foreseeable future," he said. "As part of the transition, COVID will be handled more like other diseases, something that healthcare providers diagnose and treat." He urged all residents to be vaccinated.
Cases in Oregon are up 140% in the last two weeks, the Times data shows. The state's senior senator, Ron Wyden, tested positive for COVID on Tuesday and was said to be experiencing mild symptoms.
In North Carolina, the daily average of COVID cases per 100,000 residents is up 130% in the last 14 days, according to the Times. But as in West Virginia, hospitalizations in the state actually declined slightly. Last week, the state's health director urged residents to get vaccinated and boosted, if you're eligible, have a supply of tests at home, and have a plan to get readily available treatment if you're at high risk of complications.
"We absolutely want people back to the people they love, the places they love, doing all of those things over the summer," said Dr. Elizabeth Tilson. "We absolutely want that and people to get back to those places that they need. But they have to think through how can they do that and then lowering the risk for themselves and their loved ones."
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.