COVID-19 activity by region: Where states are surging, reopening

COVID-19 cases are surging in many parts of the South, West and Midwest, though areas of the Northeast are reopening after experiencing drastic declines.

Cases have increased in 26 states over the past two weeks, according to a June 23 analysis by The New York Times. Another 15 states and Washington, D.C., are seeing cases fall, while nine states are seeing the number of new cases stay the same.

Below is a snapshot of what COVID-19's spread looks like across the U.S. as of June 23. 

West

California reported 4,515 new cases June 20, the highest number of daily state cases confirmed since the pandemic began. Los Angeles County accounted for 47 percent of the state's cases, according to The New York Times. The state's percentage of positive test results has been 4.8 percent over the last 14 days. 

Last week, King County, Wash., home to Seattle, moved into phase 2 of the state's reopening plan, despite rising COVID-19 cases, radio station KUOW-FM reported. For the week of June 18, new cases in King County jumped 47 percent compared to the week before, with Seattle reporting its highest daily counts since early May. Increases don't appear to be tied to recent protests, according to Jeff Duchin, MD, health officer for King County.

At least 236 cases have been tied to a church in Union County of eastern Oregon, according to The Oregonian. The outbreak prompted the county to voluntarily return from phase 2 to phase 1 of Gov. Kate Brown's reopening plan. Overall, Oregon's Latino population has been disproportionately affected by the virus, accounting for 13 percent of the state's population but at least 35 percent of all cases, as reported by The Oregonian.

Southwest

COVID-19 hospitalizations are at a record high in Texas. On June 22, the state reported a record 3,711 hospitalizations, representing the 11th day of increase, according to The Dallas Morning News. On June 20, the state also reported 4,430 new cases, the highest figure seen since the pandemic started. The surge has caused many hospitals in central Texas to reinstate no-visitor policies to help control the virus's spread, according to NBC affiliate KXAN. During a June 22 press conference, Gov. Greg Abbott said cases are growing "at an unacceptable rate" and encouraged Texans to wear masks in public, according to The Dallas Morning News. Mr. Abbott also said he may implement new restrictions if cases continue to rise.

The amount of new COVID-19 cases in Arizona has nearly doubled since June 1, according to The New York Times. The state did not surpass 20,000 cases until June, but has since recorded another 20,000 cases in less than three weeks. The surge spurred Gov. Doug Ducey to reverse course and allow mayors to require mask use in public, the Times reported. Arizona is also seeing a record number of hospitalizations. As of June 21, the state's seven-day hospitalization average was 1,702, up nearly 29 percent from a week prior, according to CNBC. State data shows 84 percent of the state's intensive care unit beds were occupied as of June 21.

Oklahoma reported a record daily increase of 478 new cases June 21, breaking its past record of 450 cases set just three days earlier. Residents under age 35 have been responsible for 54 percent of new cases in the past two weeks, according to USA Today. As of June 19, 197 people were currently hospitalized with COVID-19. The state has reported 10,733 cases and 369 deaths as of June 22 at 7 a.m. CDT.

Northeast

New York City entered phase 2 of reopening June 22, with some businesses resuming services and as many as 300,000 people returning to work, The Wall Street Journal reported. Mayor Bill de Blasio described it as the "biggest step forward" toward jump-starting the city's economy after a three-month lockdown. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said 10 COVID-19 deaths were reported in New York state June 21, the lowest daily toll since March 21, according to WNBC.

Officials in Philadelphia plan to reopen more businesses June 26 after experiencing a sharp decline in infection rates, according to CBS Philly. "The people of Philadelphia didn't just flatten the cur[v]e, you suppressed the virus and in the process saved thousands of lives," Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, MD, said last week, according to CBS Philly.

June 21 marked the 23rd straight day New Jersey reported fewer than 1,000 new cases and the 18th straight day with fewer than 2,000 coronavirus hospitalizations, according to nj.com. The state entered stage 2 of its reopening plan June 22, which allows hair salons and other personal care businesses to open with several restrictions.

Southeast

Florida surpassed 100,000 cases June 22, becoming one of just six states nationwide to hit this milestone, reports NPR. The state has seen more than 2,400 cases daily since June 15 and reported a record daily increase of 4,049 cases June 20. The spike is largely driven by an increase in the amount of adults in their 20s and 30s who are contracting COVID-19. Gov. Ron DeSantis told NPR he does not intend to walk back any reopening guidelines in the state and pointed to Florida's death rate, which has been declining for seven weeks.

South Carolina reported 1,157 new cases June 19 — the highest daily increase seen during the pandemic. The state has consistently reported more than 900 cases daily since June 17. The spike in cases spurred South Carolina to raise its monthly testing capacity goal from 110,000 to 165,000 tests monthly by the end of 2020. 

More than one-third of Alabama's total COVID-19 cases have occurred in June, according to state data cited by the Alabama Political Reporter. As of June 22, the state had 30,031 confirmed cases, 831 deaths and 2,471 hospitalizations, according to a state dashboard developed by Birmingham, Ala.-based Samford University.

Midwest

Chicago will enter phase 4 of reopening June 26, along with the rest of Illinois, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said June 21, as reported by The Chicago Tribune. More than 1.3 million COVID-19 tests have been performed statewide, with only 2 percent of tests coming back positive from June 14-20, a slight drop from 3 percent on June 13, WGN-TV reported.

Cases in Wisconsin surpassed 25,000 June 22, according to WBAY TV-2. The state's percentage of positive test results hasn't risen above 5 percent in June yet, though daily testing numbers have increased. La Crosse County has reported a spike in cases tied to public exposures at bars and restaurants, according to NPR's Wisconsin Public Radio.

Missouri reported .a record 413 new infections June 21, surpassing its previous record of 389 cases set June 20, Fox's KTVI reported. Rural counties in southwest Missouri confirmed a significant number of the new cases, citing an outbreak at a Tyson Foods processing plant, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

More articles on public health:

11 states with fastest, slowest spread of COVID-19
Younger adults testing positive for coronavirus in more states
WHO disputes theory that increased testing has led to COVID-19 jump

 

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