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These States are Putting U.S. At Risk of COVID

These clusters are responsible for the majority of growing cases.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

By now you've heard the bad news: The Delta variant of COVID-19 is prolonging the pandemic, and areas filled with too many unvaccinated people are causing cases to rise, endangering us all. Now a new study shows exactly where to expert the outbreaks to get worse. "These clusters of unvaccinated people are what is standing in the way of us putting this virus down permanently," Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a CNN medical analyst and professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, told the network. Read on to see which states are on the list—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.

1

Portions of Georgia

forsyth park fountain savannah georgia
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

"Fourth of July weekend saw thousands of travelers flock to the Coastal Empire. From the Savannah Waterfront out to Tybee Island, social distancing was an afterthought. Though great for businesses, it raises concerns for both local health experts and city officials alike," reports WSAV. "There were folks everywhere, I mean everywhere," said city of Savannah Mayor Van Johnson. "I'm concerned about the impact and how that will look for infection rates moving forward, so I will be monitoring that as well."

2

Portions of Texas

A pedestrian bridge crossing the Buffalo Bayou into downtown Houston Texas.
iStock

"The new and highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus may have sparked the recent outbreak of 125-plus cases of COVID-19 linked to a Houston-area youth church camp, and a Texas virologist says the breakout should be a wake-up call for communities," reports the Texas Tribune. Amarillo, Texas, also has a low vaccination rate. "Clearly, COVID is not over," Dr. Benjamin Neuman, a virologist and professor at Texas A&M University, told the paper.

3

Portions of Missouri

St. Louis downtown city skyline at twilight.
iStock

"A new study by WalletHub ranks Missouri as the least safe state during COVID-19," reports KMOV. "The findings published Thursday ranked Missouri the 50th state in positive testing rate and death rate. On Wednesday, Missouri's positivity rating was 11%. The study also ranked the state 48th in hospitalization rate, 44th in transmission rate and 40th in vaccination rate."

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4

Portions of Alabama

Statue of Hank Williams, the famous country singer, in its new location on Commerce Street
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"An infectious disease expert warned that Alabama's low vaccination rate makes the state vulnerable to an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations," reports WVTM. "Alabama has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country with about one-third of people fully vaccinated. There were 256 people in state hospitals with COVID-19 on Wednesday, although that is a fraction of the 3,000 that were hospitalized at the pandemic's peak." Montgomery, Alabama, has a particularly low vaccination rate.

5

Portions of Arkansas

Arkansas flag flying high beside the State Capitol Building
iStock

"The Arkansas Department of Health announced 1,000 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. With a rise in cases, a result of that is a rise in deaths," reports KATV. "Fewer masks and fewer restrictions have made some people's summer 2021 feel like COVID-19 is completely gone. But for the family of Kim Maginn, it's all too real." "Mom was living life to the fullest right now," Rachel Maginn Rosser, Kim's daughter, said. "She was in the best shape of her life going into this."

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6

Portions of Louisiana

Shreveport, Louisiana, USA skyline over the Red River at dusk.
Shutterstock

"The delta variant of COVID-19 has spawned a new, troubling variant known as delta-plus that has been identified for the first time in Louisiana, according to officials at Ochsner Health," reports NOLA.com. Shreveport, Louisiana, has a low vaccination rate. "Delta-plus is thought to have the same higher rate of transmission as the delta variant, which was originally identified in India and is about two times as infectious as the original coronavirus strain. But it also has a characteristic of variants from South Africa and Brazil that makes it harder for antibodies to block it from entering cells."

7

Portions of Oklahoma

oklahoma city
Shutterstock

"Oklahoma is seeing a high rate of hospital admissions for COVID-19 patients amid rising case numbers in the state, according to an expert," reports the Oklahoman. "Across the state, nearly 28% of people who have had a positive COVID-19 test in the last two weeks were admitted to hospitals, said Dr. David Kendrick, founder and CEO of MyHealth Access Network, a statewide health information exchange." "That's a really high admission rate," Kendrick said.

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8

Portions of Tennessee

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"The Delta COVID-19 variant is rapidly spreading in several states across the nation including Missouri and Arkansas," reports WKRN. "Tennessee doctors are once again warning people eligible for a vaccine to get vaccinated. The goal is to prevent death or severe illness." "So unfortunately, Tennessee is still ranking very low in terms of vaccination," said Dr. Jason Martin, a critical care physician. So 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.

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