These 8 States Are Seeing the Worst COVID Surges Right Now

·6 min read

After skyrocketing for weeks, COVID-19 cases in the U.S. finally appear to be leveling off for the moment. But even as the numbers plateau, they remain at incredibly high levels nationally at nearly triple the previous high recorded in January 2021. Now, officials are raising concerns that not all states have yet to see the worst of the Omicron surge currently spreading across the U.S.

The national daily case average in the U.S. reached a new all-time high of 807,761 on Jan. 14 before leveling off and slightly dropping five percent over the past seven days as of Jan. 18, according to data from The Washington Post. But during an interview with CNN on Jan. 16, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, warned that the trend might not mean the latest spike in cases will end everywhere.

"There are parts of the country…where we are starting to see a plateau, and in some cases, an early decline in cases," Murthy said. "The challenge is that the entire country is not moving at the same pace. The Omicron wave started later in other parts of the country, so we shouldn't expect a national peak in the next coming days. The next few weeks will be tough."

Unfortunately, even as overall infections may be dropping slightly, hospitalizations are still on the rise nationally, with daily averages increasing five percent over the past week to 156,676, as of Jan. 17. Deaths from the virus are also rising, jumping three percent over the same period to 1,716. Some experts warned that these trending figures, which typically lag behind spikes in case counts, could continue to put an even more significant strain on the healthcare system over the coming weeks.

"I expect those numbers to get substantially higher," Ashish Jha, MD, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, said during an interview with Fox News Sunday on Jan. 16. "The problem is we are running out of health care workforce, we don't have the staffing. So that is going to be a challenge for many weeks ahead."

Read on to see which states have experienced COVID surges of 50 percent or more over the past week as of Jan. 18, according to data from The Washington Post.

RELATED: These 4 New COVID Symptoms Could Mean You Have Omicron, Doctors Warn.

8

Arizona

  • New cases in the last seven days: 256 cases per 100,000 people

  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 50 percent

Arizona broke a pandemic record on Jan. 15 when state health officials reported nearly 25,000 new cases, surpassing the previous day's report of almost 20,000 cases. The current levels show a sharp increase from the same time last year when about 12,500 were being reported daily, local Phoenix CBS affiliate KPHO reports.

Even so, some local health officials said the numbers might not be providing an accurate count. "We're probably closer to about 40 thousand cases a day right now," Will Humble, MPH, Executive Director of the Arizona Public Health Association, estimated. "There is going to be an influx in the hospitals that already had no room at the end, to begin with."

"If Omicron had not been as significantly less lethal than Delta, this right now would be basically apocalyptic," he added.

7

North Dakota

  • New cases in the last seven days: 235 cases per 100,000 people

  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 51 percent

North Dakota has seen a surge in COVID cases recently, reporting a record-high positive test rate average of 16.71 percent over the past two weeks, as of Jan. 17. Over the weekend, state health officials urged residents to take the recent rise seriously.

"We've seen numbers climb in our communities and schools and among individuals of all ages," Kirby Kruger, head of the North Dakota Health Department's disease control division and forensic pathology section, said in a statement released on Jan. 15. "Today, there are three children under the age of five who are in the hospital due to COVID-19. While this variant is milder for some, we should not underestimate how serious this virus is, and we should each take proactive measures to protect against infection."

6

Oklahoma

  • New cases in the last seven days: 269 cases per 100,000 people

  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 56 percent

Oklahoma was another state to set records over the past weekend, reporting nearly 15,000 new cases on Jan. 16. The state's seven-day confirmed case average, which never surpassed 5,000 during previous surges, was approaching 11,000 on Jan. 17, local Oklahoma City ABC affiliate KOCO reported.

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5

Alaska

  • New cases in the last seven days: 252 cases per 100,000 people

  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 56 percent

The recent surge of COVID-19 cases in Alaska has sent the two-week rolling average soaring 241 percent to 1,888, as of Jan. 18, according to data from The New York Times. The hospitalization average has also increased 89 percent over the same period to 109.

4

New Mexico

  • New cases in the last seven days: 203 cases per 100,000 people

  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 56 percent

COVID-19 infections are on the rise in New Mexico, where a rolling seven-day positive test rate average of 22.8 percent was reported as of Jan. 18, according to data from COVID Act Now. The state has averaged 23.1 deaths per day over the past week.

3

Minnesota

  • New cases in the last seven days: 188 cases per 100,000 people

  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 61 percent

A surge in COVID-19 cases in Minnesota is being followed by a rise in hospitalizations, increasing 20 percent over the past two weeks to a daily average of 1,733 as of Jan. 17, according to The Times. The state's positive test rate was reported to be 25.4 percent, according to COVID Act Now.

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Just Said This Is When Omicron Cases Will Start Going Down.

2

Idaho

  • New cases in the last seven days: 107 cases per 100,000 people

  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 66 percent

Over the past week, Idaho has broken daily new case records three times, adding an all-time high of 13,481 infections overall and breaking the previous high set in December 2020. The positive test rate also skyrocketed, rising from 17.2 percent to 25.7 percent in the past seven days, Idaho Education News reports.

1

Wisconsin

  • New cases in the last seven days: 396 cases per 100,000 people

  • Percent increase in the last seven days: 85 percent

The most recent spike of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin has seen the daily average rise 273 percent over the past 14 days to 23,048 as of Jan. 17, according to The Times. Unfortunately, hospitalizations and deaths are also moving up, rising 32 and 52 percent over the same percent, respectively.

RELATED: If You Notice Pain Here, It May Be an Omicron Symptom, Doctors Warn.

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