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CDC Warns COVID Deaths Spiking in These States

COVID cases are rising and these states have the highest death toll.

The U.S. hit an alarming milestone this week. Over 802,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19 the New York Times reports and the virus continues to take more than 1,200 lives daily. While every state has COVID cases, a few have been hit incredibly hard and have a high death toll according to Statista, and the CDC, which charts the death rate, has marked four states in particular in dark blue, meaning they have the most deaths per capita. Read on to see which have been hit hardest—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.



Phoenix, Arizona, USA cityscape in downtown at sunset.

Arizona has had 490 deaths in the last 7 days alone, says the CDC, or 6.7 per capita. Overall, Arizona has had 320 deaths per 100,000. To date, there have been 1.33 million cases and 23,344 deaths in the state. The Arizona Department of Health tweeted, "Today's #COVID19 dashboard update adds 3,686 cases and 143 deaths. Hundreds of places offer COVID-19 testing. Find a location at Get tested if you have symptoms or 5-7 days after exposure to someone who is or who may be positive for COVID-19."



Sunset in Montana

Montana had 85 COVID deaths in the last 7 days, says the CDC, which is 8 for every 1,000 people. "After scaled-down fall and winter holidays in 2020, people are eager for holding in-person celebrations with friends and extended family. Many medical professionals, including the CDC, are not recommending forgoing group gatherings but are stressing that everyone in attendance should take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus," says the Montana Free Press.

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA downtown city skyline at dusk.

Pennsylvania has had 824 deaths in the last 7 days, or 6.4 for every 1,000 people. "We have more COVID-19 patients who are sicker, longer lengths of stay and no way to transfer them to nursing homes," Upper Allegheny Health System COO Richard Braun said Wednesday during the system's annual public meeting. "So, we're jammed up a bit and can't push people through the system."

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Indianapolis, Indiana, USA skyline over Soliders' and Sailors' Monument at dusk.

Indiana has had 378 deaths in the last 7 days, or 5.6 for every 1,000 people. "It's been one year since the COVID-19 vaccine was shipped to hospitals across the country. It gave hope to so many that the pandemic would end, but this winter, healthcare workers are facing yet another surge," reports WTHR. "The number of Hoosiers being treated for COVID-19 continues to climb. Hospitalizations have increased 150 percent in just over five weeks." "The numbers I am seeing for ICU bed availability across Indiana are scary," Dr. Graham Carlos, executive medical director at Eskenazi Health, told the network. 

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These States Have Had the Most Deaths Since the Pandemic Started

Infected patient in quarantine lying in bed in hospital, coronavirus concept.


Mississippi leads the U.S. in COVID deaths with 348 fatalities per 100,000. The Mississippi State Department of Health reports 911 more cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, 3 deaths, and 44 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities. State COVID-19 totals: 522,455 cases, 10,354 deaths, and 1,434,175 persons fully vaccinated. 


Alabama follows Mississippi with the second highest of COVID deaths in the country with 333 deaths per 100,000. To date there have been 856,000 cases and 16,320 deaths in the state. Alabama Public Health tweeted December 17th, 2021 "Data as of 12/15/21 shows that 86% of Alabama's #COVID19 cases and 88% of Alabama's COVID-19 deaths were in unvaccinated Alabamians. Current data shows that fully vaccinated persons who get #COVID19 are much less likely to get severely ill, go to the hospital, or die from COVID-19. The #COVID19vaccines are working."

New Jersey

New Jersey follows closely behind Alabama with 322 deaths per 100,000. To date there have been 1.32 million cases and 28,659 deaths in New Jersey. reports that "cases are spiking," in the Garden State.  "The state saw its highest one-day total of confirmed positive tests since Jan. 13, the peak day from last winter's pandemic surge. The state's seven-day average for new positive tests jumped 21% from a week ago to 4,124, and rocketed up 191% from a month ago, despite the presence of vaccines. That's the first time the average has been above 4,000 since April 1."


Louisiana has 321 deaths per 100,000. The Louisiana Department of Health tweeted, "We sadly also report 6 COVID deaths reported to the state since 12/16/21, bringing our death toll to 14,924." In a follow up tweet, the LDH states, "Today, LDH reports 1,101 #COVID19 cases reported to the state since 12/16/21. 99.4% of these cases are tied to community spread."

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How to Stay Safe Out There

African American man in antiviral mask gesturing thumb up during coronavirus vaccination, approving of covid-19 immunization

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.

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather
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