If You Live Here, You're Most in Danger of COVID Rising
The Omicron BA.2 subvariant is causing an uptick of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.—with some states being impacted more than others. "It's very clear we're seeing a bump. How high the bump will go, we're only going to know over the next several weeks," says Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes, chief of infectious disease at Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Even if you look at the national data on the CDC trend map, it's showing an uptick now in cases nationwide that's really being led by the increase in cases in the Northeast." Here are five U.S. states where COVID-19 cases are on the rise. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Missouri had the highest rate of new cases for the week ending Sunday, April 17. "I don't think Missouri is going to be somehow less susceptible to these rises," says Dr. Farrin Manian, an infectious disease physician and chair of the Department of Medicine at Mercy Hospital St. Louis. "It's cause for concern."
Arkansas is experiencing a sharp uptick in COVID-19 cases. "Hospitalizations may be increasing slightly, but they're doing just that: increasing slightly, which is an important distinction to be made," says State Epidemiologist Mike Cima. "We're not in immediate danger of taxing our health care system to the extent we had in the past."
COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Nebraska. "Testing in our area decreased last week but the number of confirmed cases increased," says Michele Bever, executive director of South Heartland District Health Department. "Cases more than doubled to 8 confirmed cases last week compared to 3 the week before. What residents need to know about BA.2 is that it is more highly transmissible than the original omicron and that COVID-19 vaccination is effective in protecting against severe BA.2 illness, hospitalization and death."
Montana is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, officials report. "The pandemic continues," Gov. Greg Gianforte said in February. "It's still affecting families, but in the process, we've gotten our economy going again and we've ended the economic pandemic that was created by the prior administration."
Cases of COVID-19 are surging in Vermont, according to the CDC. "In many cases, vaccination can and will mean the difference between being sick and being hospitalized," says Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine.
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.