COVID is "Way Too High" in These States Right Now
Are we at the endemic stage of the COVID-19 pandemic yet? Public health experts don't think so. "First of all, the number of infections out there, we don't ever have the flu where like we get hundreds of thousands of people getting infected," says White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Ashish K. Jha, M.D., MPH. "This is a lot of infections. We've still got to work on that. Second, we are taking a very active, aggressive approach to keeping hospitalizations down. If we let up on vaccinations, if we let up on treatments, those hospitalizations are going to start climbing back up again. We're in a battle, we're fighting hard and keeping things at bay. It's not time to let up and say, 'OK, this is as good as it gets.'" Here are the five states where COVID-19 cases are rising the fastest. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
COVID-19 cases are up 91% in Georgia, but health experts fear the numbers are actually five to ten times higher than official reports—meaning Georgia is in the middle of a serious surge. "We're beyond missing the early signals," says Dr. Jayne Morgan, executive director of Piedmont Healthcare COVID-19 task force. "We've passed that. We are sort of in it."
"The only thing that gives me some hope is that (hospitalizations have) stayed down for a lot longer than we have for the last couple of waves," says Dr. John Delzell, vice president and incident commander at the Northeast Georgia Health System.
COVID-19 cases are up 60% in Mississippi, with hospitalizations doubling since the start of June. "Fortunately, we're not seeing the mortality impact. Don't wanna underenforce the importance of getting treatment and everything, because we are gonna lose folks," says State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobb. "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."
COVID-19 cases are up 51% in Kansas. "Although we haven't seen a large trend in the increasing recorded cases… we have seen a significant increase in the number of people hospitalized at the Health System," says Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infectious disease prevention and control at the University of Kansas Health System. "But overall, those numbers continue to be much lower than they were in the most recent surge."
COVID-19 cases are up 49% in South Dakota. "Governor Noem has provided her people with up-to-date science, facts, and data and then trusted them to exercise personal responsibility to make the best decisions for themselves and their loved ones," Gov. Kristi Noem's communications director told CNN in February during the Omicron surge.
COVID-19 cases are up 48% in Alabama. "The counted number is much more than what's been said because a lot of people are doing home testing and the home testing isn't going to be reported to the department of health or local authorities," says Dr. Ali Hassoun, an infectious disease specialist with Huntsville Hospital.
How to Stay Safe Out There
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.
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