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7 States Where COVID Cases are Rising Fast

BA.2 is causing an uptick in these states.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

The Omicron BA.2 subvariant is causing COVID-19 cases to rise in the U.S.—and experts are worried about what might happen. "We don't know how high that mountain's gonna grow," says Dr. Stuart Campbell Ray, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins University. Here are seven states where COVID-19 cases are on the rise. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.



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Vermont is experiencing an uptick of COVID-19 cases thanks to BA.2, and health officials are keeping a close eye on the surge. "We're looking very carefully at the slope of that curve," says Health Commissioner Mark Levine. "If you really start looking through all the news media, you're going to be hard pressed to find someone who will actually predict for you … what the modeling shows. Because frankly, we've heard this before: We learn from this virus every day."


Rhode island

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The BA.2 subvariant is now responsible for 73% of COVID-19 cases in Rhode Island. "We might have a new wave of infections and a new surge, and it's concerning because we could see more people getting hospitalized again," says Dr. Karen Tashima, director of clinical trials at The Miriam Hospital. "We think it's probably at least 50% of the strains that that are being seen in Rhode Island."



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Alaska is dealing with an increase of COVID-19 cases thanks to the BA.2 subvariant, but officials note that while BA.2 is more transmissible than BA.1, it's not as serious. "Probably about a quarter of the cases are BA.2 now in the U.S.," says Alaska chief epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin. "It's a little bit higher in Alaska. This strain is about 30 percent more transmissible than the BA.1 strain, but it's not more virulent."


New York

New York is dealing with an uptick of COVID-19 cases over the past month, leading to health commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan recommending that New Yorkers go back to wearing masks indoors to curb the spread of BA.2. "When you go inside to an indoor place, especially when you don't know the vaccination status of people around you, wear a mask," Dr. Vasan says. "Wear a mask in all indoor settings."



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COVID-19 cases are on the rise in nearly 75% of Massachusetts. "It's very clear we're seeing a bump. How high the bump will go, we're only going to know over the next several weeks," says Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes, chief of infectious disease at Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Even if you look at the national data on the CDC trend map, it's showing an uptick now in cases nationwide that's really being led by the increase in cases in the Northeast. We can probably look forward to a further increase in cases in Massachusetts."

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New Hampshire


BA.2 is causing an uptick of COVID-19 infections in New Hampshire. "The currently circulating BA.2 does not seem to cause more severe illness than BA.1, but without any doubt being up to date on the safe and effective COVID vaccinations will be the most important strategy to avoid severe illness and hospitalization," says Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Jake Leon.

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BA.2 is driving COVID-19 cases in Maine, which has the seventh highest infection rate in the country. "It's acting similar to the BA.1 variant of the omicron," says Dr. James Jarvis of Northern Light Health. "And Omicron seemed to cause less severe disease than we saw with the Delta."


How to Stay Safe Out There


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.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more about Ferozan