Skip to content

These 9 States to Have Next Outbreak, Virus Expert Warns

See if your state is on the list.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

The coronavirus may be coming to your state. "It's becoming very clear that we are dealing with a global outbreak of the Delta variant," warns Dr. Anthony Fauci. "We know the transmissibility that's greater than the Alpha variant—at least two times as great. This makes a major difference in transmissibility." Where is it striking most? While states like Florida and Texas are seeing a record rise in cases and hospitalizations, Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director for the Center for Infectious Disease, research and policy at the University of Minnesota, appeared on Meet the Press to name other areas in the USA where it will grow even worse. Read on to see which states are on the list—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.


The Sunbelt States Have Been the Main Focal Point of the Surge 

Miami seaside photos Miami city

Osterholm said what's happening is "actually a series of different events going on. First of all, you have the Sunbelt states"—states like Florida and Texas—"which we all know are having really dramatic case increases." But those cases are spreading northward. Nationwide, "we're at 83,000 hospitalizations today, a month ago, we were at 25,000. So it gives you a sense of what's happened just in the last month." Keep reading to see in which states exactly things are going to get worse.



Colorful homes and historic architecture in New Orleans, Louisiana

"If you look at the state of Louisiana right now, they're tied with the country of Georgia for the highest rate of infections in the world," said Osterholm. "The system is so packed that people who come in with a stroke, with a heart attack, with life-threatening conditions, we are unable to deal with it," Our Lady of the Angels Hospital's Dr. Garland Anderson told "We are unable to transfer patients to any hospital in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Missouri. There are no beds anywhere."



"Georgia reported the highest 7-day average of new COVID-19 cases among children 17 and younger since the start of the pandemic Friday," reported WSB-TV. Things are heated politically here: "The resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic has put Gov. Brian Kemp on the defensive, as public health experts and Democrats plead with him to take more aggressive action to curb the outbreak while key Republicans urge him to block any government restrictions," reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "As the numbers of cases and hospitalizations soar, Kemp has joined other Republican governors by railing against mask requirements and vaccine mandates. But he's upset fellow conservatives by refusing to stop local governments, private businesses and school administrators from instituting their own restrictions."


South Carolina

homes on charleston battery south carolina
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

"South Carolina has recorded its highest daily coronavirus case count since January when infections peaked statewide, The State reported, citing the latest data from the state's Department of Health and Environmental Control," reports the State. "On Friday, the agency reported 3,585 new confirmed cases and 893 probable cases. It marks the most cases since Jan. 22."


North Carolina

Raleigh skyline in the summer with crepe myrtle trees in bloom

"At least 2,483 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Friday, up from 2,409 the day before. The patient count has been rising since July 9, when the state had 409 patients, The News & Observer reported," according to the paper. "As of Wednesday, the latest date available, 11.6% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Health officials say 5% or lower is the target rate to slow the spread of the virus."

RELATED: I'm a Doctor and Here's How to Not Catch Delta



LOUISVILLE, KY, USA - JULY 10, 2016: Fourth Street Live an entertainment and retail complex located in Louisville Kentucky.

"During his weekly Team Kentucky briefing, Governor Andy Beshear focused on the battle against the Delta variant of COVID-19," reports Wave 3. "Not only is it infecting people at a high rate, but he said it has put more children in the intensive care unit than ever before. Lexington's Kentucky Children's Hospital has treated 10 children with severe COVID-19, four of those have been admitted in the past two weeks, and two others in the last two days. Although 10 pediatric patients may not seem like much, doctors said each of those children were in critical care which required IV treatments or ventilators."



Aerial of Chattanooga Tennessee TN Skyline

"It was Thursday night, and like so many Tennessee medical professionals, Dr. Geoff Lifferth was tired, desperate and overwhelmed. He turned to Facebook with something to say," reports the Tennessean. "'There are no beds,' he warned. 'As an ER doc and a health care administrator, the past week has been one of the most exhausting and disheartening of my career. The delta variant has burned through us with a ferocity that's hard to describe.'"

RELATED: 9 Everyday Habits That Might Lead to Dementia


Southern Illinois

Cantilever Cairo Ohio River Bridge in fall scenery with river barges in backgroiund, it provides river crossing between Wickliffe, Kentucky and Cairo, Illinois.

Osterholm specifically mentioned Southern Illinois. "Only 16% of residents here in Alexander County are fully vaccinated against COVID-19," reports NPR. "That's the lowest rate in Illinois, according to the state health department, and case counts of coronavirus infections are rising. So the Cooperative Extension System, which is tied to a network of land-grant universities, plans to spend the next two years talking about vaccines in this community and elsewhere across the U.S. It may take that long or more to convince enough people to get vaccinated."



Portland, Oregon at night

"Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Friday ordered 500 National Guard members to help frontline workers in their battle against the expanding Covid-19 Delta variant," reports NBC News. "Brown said the deployment would begin Aug. 20, when National Guard members will be sent to more than 20 hospitals statewide to help provide logistical support, materials handling, equipment deliveries, and Covid-19 testing."

RELATED: Signs You're Getting One of the "Most Deadly" Cancers



Seattle skyline at sunset, WA, USA

"The increase in COVID-19 cases in Washington state has brought a growing number of infected patients to medical centers seeking care along with a spike in visits to the intensive care unit as many regional hospitals say they are at or near full capacity, state health officials report," reports KOMO News. "According to data from the Washington Department of Health, 86 percent of the total adult hospital beds in the state are full." No matter where you live—get vaccinated 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.

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