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This is Where in the USA COVID is Rising Next, Experts Predict

Here we go again.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Is the pandemic finally over? Not according to health and virus experts, who are concerned about the BA.2.12.1 variant. "There's enormous political pressure to say the pandemic is over," says Gregg Gonsalves, associate professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health. "But the idea that we're out of the woods is just not true. We're in the midst of a slowly building surge. There's a political imperative to put the pandemic behind us. Everybody's really tired. Everybody's really frustrated. Nobody wants to talk about this anymore. Nobody wants to think about it anymore. But wishing doesn't make it so." Here are five spots in the USA where COVID-19 is 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.

1

Rhode Island

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Rhode Island's uptick in infections is causing alarm amongst the local medical community. "It's back. I didn't think we'd see another surge before the fall, but Covid-19 is back in Rhode Island," says Michael Fine, MD. "Our testing numbers are up; hospitalizations have doubled; some test sites in Central Falls are running 25 percent positive, and some schools in Central Falls have lost so many staff to illness that they are talking about whether they need to close for five to ten days. I hate this. I don't know what my colleagues in public health in Rhode Island are free to say, so I'm saying it. It's here. Central Falls usually gets hit first. We had about three months of quiet, and something like temporary herd immunity, but we've lost that now. The immunity wore off. BA.2.12.1 if you care. Expect lots of spread, because we've given up masking and social distancing prematurely, thanks to our political leadership and our politics."

2

New Jersey

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New Jersey is experiencing a recent rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. "We're just at the beginning of this surge, and the metrics are trending in the wrong direction," says Stephanie Silvera, an infectious disease specialist at Montclair State University. "While we may not be seeing a rise in severe outcomes, we still need to be mindful of reinfections, of long COVID — things that may well have a lasting effect."

3

Colorado

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Cases are on the rise in Colorado, although officials are now focusing on hospital spaces and community transmission over daily cases. "It's really looking at the pandemic in a different way," says state epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy. "With omicron and these newer subvariants that have emerged, we're certainly seeing cases occurring, but we're also, in general, seeing milder illness. Some of that is we have a highly vaccinated population at this point that's protected against severe disease, but we also have a large number of individuals who have been infected already."

4

Hawaii

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Not only are COVID-19 cases on the rise in Hawaii, but officials are concerned about virus numbers being underreported. "We know that that is a gross undercount, how much of an undercount? Well, we might have five, six, seven times that many cases, new cases every day right now across the state," says DOH spokesman Brooks Baehr. "That would be an extra 4,500 to 6,500 new cases every day."

5

Arkansas

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Arkansas is experiencing a sudden uptick in infections. "Today kind of represented a little bit of an acceleration of our upward trend," State Epidemiologist Mike Cima said on May 18. "BA.2.12.1 is kind of a bad actor, and it's pretty good at finding people to infect. I think it's reasonable to expect hospitalizations to increase in some manner… I don't believe that we'll reach crazy high levels of hospitalizations from this wave."

6

How to Stay Safe Out There

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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