These States are Still COVID Hotspots, Warn Experts
Although coronavirus cases are going down, they are going down more slowly in certain states, leading one expert to describe the pandemic as "whack-a-mole." One month, the Midwest is on fire. The next, the South has an outbreak. Right now, it's the East Coast that is lagging, adding cases at rates more than the rest of the country. Now is "not the time to let your guard down," says Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
New York City may be very slowly reopening restaurants and movie theaters, but the state itself is still adding cases at "rates higher than every state except South Carolina," according to the New York Times. This may be because other areas in the country, after severe outbreaks, have more herd immunity. The good news is that the state has seen a 14% decline in cases.
Cases are falling and houses of worship are partly reopening. But: "New variants of the COVID-19 virus are likely much more widespread in New Jersey than the current official count of 50 confirmed cases, because the state — like most in the U.S. — lacks the capacity to do the complex, labor-intensive testing needed on a large scale, experts say," according to NorthJersey.com.
South Carolina could be considered the nation's hotspot. But there is some good news. "For the first time since last June, state health officials Monday reported fewer than 5% of COVID-19 test results came back positive, state health officials said," reports the State. "Just 4.6% of the 23,892 COVID-19 tests reported Monday returned positive results, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. The last time South Carolina's coronavirus positivity rate dropped below the 5% threshold the World Health Organization recommends governments reach before reopening was June 3, 2020."
Cases are falling, albeit a bit slowly. "With North Carolinians continuing to follow the 3Ws and more than one million people in the state having received at least a first dose of vaccine, we are slowing the spread and saving lives," said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. "Let's keep it up."
Vaccinations are opening up to more categories and none too soon. "The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) announced those 65 and older will be able to book appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday," reports ABC6. "The state-run clinics are the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence and the Sockanosset site on Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston. The sites will be offering the first appointments on Tuesday. The Health Department said those who would like to register should visit VaccinateRI.org. Anyone unable to register online can get help by calling 844-930-1779."
How to Avoid the Pandemic No Matter Where You Live
Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire are also in the top 15 of states with cases falling slower than elsewhere. Follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, 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, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, 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.