These 5 States Have "Concerning" COVID Spikes, Warn Experts
The COVID pandemic is far from over. Despite the surge in vaccinations and the advent of warmer temperatures, new coronavirus cases are going the wrong direction in several areas of the country. These five states have seen increases in the last few weeks that have experts worried. Read on to find out which—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.
Michigan has the highest per capita COVID rate in the country. It recently posted a positivity rate of 15%, a situation that is "of considerable concern," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, this week. "If you look at the nation in general—and Michigan is really sort of representative of that—we had a very high peak [of COVID cases] over the winter, then it started coming down, and then we plateaued at a really unacceptably high level, which is a real risk factor that you can then have another surge," he said. "And unfortunately, this is what's going on in Michigan."
New Jersey has the second-highest COVID rate in the US, with 51 cases per 100,000 residents, NPR News reports—a jump of nearly 10% in the last week. On Wednesday, Gov. Phil Murphy said a new model shows that the state's COVID cases could peak in mid-May through June at over 8,000 a day. "Under this scenario, we're in for a long, hot summer," said Murphy. "So please, God, this is not what we have to live through."
The earliest hotspot of the COVID epidemic has experienced another surge in recent weeks, possibly driven by coronavirus variants (including one that seems to have originated in New York City). This week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged residents to get vaccinated ASAP and keep following public-health recommendations. "New Yorkers are following the science and getting themselves and their families vaccinated, and they should be commended for that. But we're still fighting a pandemic and the infection rate is a function of our actions," he said in a press release Saturday. "It's critical that New Yorkers continue wearing masks and following the public health guidance. It has been a long and difficult road, and I know everyone is struggling with COVID fatigue, but we need to stay the course until we actually reach the light at the end of the tunnel."
The state's economy has swung open, and this week Gov. Ron DeSantis banned vaccine passports. But the Sunshine State's coronavirus status is not all clear skies: The Tampa Bay Times reported Saturday that Florida's COVID positivity rate is 9.3%, almost double the 5% maximum the World Health Organization says denotes that enough testing is being done to catch mild and asymptomatic cases before they spread.
MPR News reported Saturday that state officials are "increasingly anxious as new cases and hospitalizations climb." ICU occupancy is at its highest in two months, and active cases are at their highest since early January.
How to Survive This Pandemic
As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.