Throughout the COVID pandemic, various parts of the U.S. have fallen victim to significant COVID outbreaks. From the South to the West, the virus has wreaked havoc on clusters of states in different regions. Now, three Midwestern states are topping the list of most COVID cases per capita. According to Covid Act Now data as of Sept. 28, North Dakota is seeing 52 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, which is alarmingly high. Read on to find out more on North Dakota’s epidemic, and for other outbreaks across the country, discover The New Region Where COVID Is Surging.
North Dakota has broken its record for new COVID cases every day since Sept. 21, according to Newsweek. Additionally, the rate of positivity in North Dakota is 29.5 percent, according to Covid Act Now, which is also the highest in the U.S.
In the early months of the pandemic, North Dakota rarely reported a triple-digit number of new COVID cases, per the site’s data. The state began to see a swift increase in cases after the Fourth of July. Since the beginning of that month, daily COVID cases in the state have jumped to 10 times higher: On July 1, North Dakota reported 36 new COVID cases, compared with the 396 cases reported on Sept. 26.
North Dakota is one of the few remaining states that still have not implemented a mask mandate. Newsweek reports that although Gov. Doug Burgum has publicly advocated for widespread mask use, he is resistant to issuing a formal mandate, even as the state continues to see a steady rise in cases. North Dakota’s bordering state, South Dakota, does not have a mask mandate either, and is seeing a similar spike in cases. South Dakota has 43.4 daily new COVID cases per 100,000 people, according to Covid Act Now.
The Dakotas are not the only states seeing a concerning rise in cases right now. Ashish jha, MD, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI), voiced his concern on Twitter about the 15 states with the highest per-capita infections. Across those 15 states, new infections are up about 67 percent in the last two weeks, the states’ collective percent of positive tests is 11.6 percent, and their hospitalizations are beginning to creep up, Jha reports.
Jha had predicted that Labor Day activities would cause COVID cases to climb, and unfortunately, he seems to have been correct. Two weeks after Labor Day, COVID cases shot up 30 percent, and 39 states had more cases on Sept. 26, when Jha wrote his tweet, than they did two weeks prior.
“We have a long way to go in this pandemic,” Jha wrote. Although the HGHI director maintains that the country is not in a good place with coronavirus, he is confident we can get the situation under control. If we work to enhance precautions and testing, “we can get through the next seven to nine months until we hopefully have safe, effective vaccines widely available,” Jha wrote. And for more on why COVID is spiking now, These 2 Things Are Making COVID Numbers Skyrocket Again.