If it seems COVID-19 is bad in Missouri, it is. It ranks worst for these two things

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Missouri currently ranks the worst state in the country for the highest rates of hospitalizations and deaths in the past seven days, according to The New York Times.

Missouri also sits at second-worst behind Arkansas for states with the most cases per capita in the past seven days, with 17 cases per 100,000 residents, according to The New York Times coronavirus tracker. In the past week, Missouri averaged about 1,047 new cases per day.

The state is seeing the most hospitalizations per capita in the country, averaging 1,002 hospitalizations a day over the past week.

Experts have correlated the significant number of unvaccinated people across the state with the wave in new cases. The statewide vaccination rate sits at just under 40% of the population having become fully vaccinated, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

The spread of the delta variant and loosened restrictions have added to the problem, health officials said.

The Times lists 34 counties in Missouri, particularly in southwest Missouri, as being “extremely high risk” for people who have not been vaccinated.

Kansas ranks ninth worst among the states in average cases count per capita in the past week, and 19th for hospitalizations and 28th for deaths.

Missouri lags on COVID-19 vaccinations as delta variant spreads. Here’s where it ranks

The Times also tracks cities and counties in the U.S. with the most cases per capita in the past week. Of the top 10 places listed, four are in Missouri and one is in Kansas.

Joplin is listed as the fourth worst for new infections per capita in the past week, with an average of 39 new cases per day. Taney County, Missouri, is sixth, Cherokee County, Kansas, is seventh, and Polk and Newton counties in Missouri are ninth and 10th.

Just a day earlier, Joplin sat at the number four spot and Taney County was at number 10 for the highest rate of new infections in the U.S., according to the same Times analysis.

On Thursday, of the top 10 places in the country with the highest hospitalization rates, eight are in Missouri, and one is in Kansas.

Joplin sits at the top for the most hospitalizations per capita. Cherokee County, Kansas, is second. Fourth through 10th — all counties in Missouri — are listed as follows: Barton, Newton, McDonald, Lawrence, Jasper, Christian and Dallas.

Four Missouri counties — Phelps, Douglas, Webster and Moniteau — are on the list of the top 10 places with the most coronavirus deaths per capita across the county.

In an effort to combat the coronavirus numbers in Missouri, a White House-supported “surge response team” has been sent to southwest Missouri where an epidemiologist is working out of Springfield, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed Wednesday.