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COVID Will Surge in These 8 States, Experts Predict

"I really worry about what's in store for us in those weeks ahead." 
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

The coronavirus surge is here, and it's dangerous. Even if the Omicron variant proves "less severe," it is so transmissible that more and more people will get it, causing hospitals to overflow. This is already happening in many states. "I really worry about what's in store for us in those weeks ahead," says virus expert Michael Osterholm. Some states have reported more coronavirus cases in the past week than in any other seven-day period, data show. Read on to see which ones—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Massachusetts

Boston harbor
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Massachusetts is consistently setting records for most cases in a single day in the state. "Boston hospitals are on an 'unsustainable' path as COVID-19 cases, driven by the extremely contagious omicron variant, skyrocket across the region, warns a local emergency medicine doctor," reports the Boston Herald. "I think all public officials should use this data to look and see where they can expand hospital capacity and where they can stop the spread of the virus," Jeremy Faust, an emergency physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital, told the paper. "Several Massachusetts counties are at risk of exceeding normal hospital capacity, and Suffolk County over the holiday weekend was in the 'unsustainable' category, according to Faust."

2

Delaware

The Delaware State Capitol Building in Dover, Delaware.
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"For the fourth straight day, Delaware saw more than 1,000 daily Covid-19 cases, according to the Sunday Covid-19 report from the state Division of Public Health," reports Delaware Business Now. "Delaware hospitals are so full that patients are being treated in hallways. Already overburdened and emotionally exhausted, health care workers are preparing for more patients after the holidays as the omicron variant emerges and flu season arrives," reports Delaware Online.

3

Hawaii

"Hawaii reported a record 2,205 new COVID infections Sunday as the state continued to see an alarming surge in new cases," reports Hawaii News Now. "It's the first time the state has seen more than 2,000 new infections in a single day. The latest infections push the state's total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 102,389. Over the past 14 days, the state says there have been 12,777 cases detected."

4

New York

Masked shoppers in New York during the COVID-19 pandemic
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"The state of New York issued an urgent advisory to pediatricians on Christmas Eve, pressing them to ensure their patients are vaccinated after COVID hospitalizations in children rose four-fold in less than three weeks," reports NBC 4. "The unusual warning, on Friday night on the eve of a major holiday, comes as the omicron variant of COVID-19 burns like wildfire through New York City's population. More than 20,000 people a day are being infected, and some neighborhoods in lower Manhattan are now among the most contagious spots on Earth."

5

Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico Caribbean coast along Paseo de la Princesa.
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"Puerto Rico, which achieved the highest rate of fully vaccinated people against coronavirus in the United States, is experiencing a record-breaking rise in COVID-19 cases, raising alarms as Christmas holidays and parties on the island are fast approaching. The island's positivity rate — or the percentage of people who are testing positive — was at 2.56% on Dec. 11. By Dec. 22, it had skyrocketed to 16.49%, according to Puerto Rico Department of Health data. There were 833 total cases confirmed with molecular and antigen testing in Puerto Rico between Dec. 5 and Dec. 11. Between Dec. 12 and Dec. 19, that number was about 10,700 — a 1,184.5% increase in a week," reports the Miami Herald.

6

New Jersey

Jersey City skyline viewed from a boat sailing the Upper Bay
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"Omicron's grip on the Garden State continued to deliver record case counts on Christmas, when the health department reported a whopping 16,626 positive tests," reports NBC 4. "The latest figures represent a 143% increase from the daily numbers reported four days earlier, on Dec. 21. New Jersey has broken daily case record for a fourth straight day after quickly catching up to the previous highs reported back in January of this year. A spike in positive cases has been the result of one of the most contagious variants of COVID-19, prompting millions to run out in search of tests as the new highly infectious strain surged in the leadup to Christmas."

7

Cases are Also Rising in Florida and Georgia

aerial view of boca raton florida community, looking across golf community toward beach and atlantic ocean
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"Florida is reporting a 300% increase in cases over the past two weeks and Georgia, a hundred percent increase," said Dr. Osterholm. "Florida broke its single-day record for new COVID-19 cases on Thursday as the omicron variant continues to drive a surge in infections," reports The Hill. "The state reported 31,758 cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention database on Thursday. The previous high was 27,669 in August when the delta variant swept the state. The statewide positivity rate rose to 13.8 percent for the week, up from 5.3 percent the week prior."

8

How to Stay Safe Out There

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Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted 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.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more
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