Covid cases have risen in all 50 US states over the past two weeks as a surge in cases caused by omicron variants has caused cases to triple statewide in the past two weeks. All but four states are seeing more than double the number of cases they had 14 days ago.
Despite rising cases, deaths in America have remained low, and data was released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Rhode Island now leads the daily rate of cases, with America’s smallest state now recording 418 infections per 100,000 people daily.
The state is embracing the dubious honor that New York and New Jersey have long held. The ocean state is seeing a high number of cases despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in America, as 77 percent of residents have had their shots. Cases in the state have more than tripled in the past two weeks.
New York has the second-highest case rate, with 379 residents out of 100,000 testing positive for the virus each day.
Just behind is neighboring New Jersey with 357 cases per 100,000 people. Both states are struggling with the Omicron variant more than any other, largely because of the rampant spread of cases in New York City and many commuters from the Big Apple to other parts of the state and to Jersey.
Massachusetts is the fourth and last state to record more than 300 cases per 100,000 residents, with 354 in every 100,000 testing positive each day.
All four states with the highest case rates in America have vaccination rates above 70 percent, demonstrating the ability of the now dominant Omicron strain to evade the protection afforded by the vaccines.
The variant now accounts for 98 percent of new cases in the United States, according to the latest CDC data. As a testament to the vaccines and their ability to prevent death from breakthrough infections, none of the states with the most cases find themselves among them again the state with the 15 highest death rates.
While the Northeastern states are seeing the highest number of cases, actual growth in Covid cases in those states has slowed.
Many of them were hit by Omicron early on and experienced surges in the variant in early to mid-December. However, the variant already appears to be losing steam and growth is slowing.
Some experts are hoping the peak has been reached for the hardest-hit states so far, and cases will start to fall soon.
Elsewhere in the country, however, cases are increasing sharply as the variant leaves the Northeast and begins its rupture elsewhere.
The U.S. South has become the latest hotspot for the virus, and lower vaccination rates in the region have allowed it to spread even faster than comparable northern states.
South Carolina is currently leading the nation in case growth over the past two weeks, with new cases up 759 percent over the past two weeks. The state has a vaccination rate of just 54 percent
Many other nearby states such as Mississippi (483 percent case growth over the past two weeks), North Carolina (479 percent), Arkansas (550 percent) and Alabama (483 percent) are also among the national leaders in case growth over the past two weeks.
The West Coast is also being hit by the recent Omicron outbreak. States that had their situation largely under control weeks ago are also facing an enormous spate of cases.
In California, the number of cases has increased nearly sevenfold in the past two weeks, a 597 percent increase in 14 days. In the north, Oregon has seen a similar growth of 577 percent. Utah also saw a 570 percent increase over the same period.
The Midwest and Great Plains first faced Covid surges in October, when the early months of cold weather hit them harder than the rest of the nation. However, cases fell quickly thereafter, and it looked like the winter wasn’t going to be as brutal for the region as it was elsewhere in some places.
However, the fall trends quickly reversed. Now, states like Montana (469 percent growth over the past two weeks), Wyoming (466 percent) and South Dakota (413 percent) are among those with the highest case growth in the country.
However, the states with the most cases or the greatest case growth are not the ones bearing the burden of the deaths.
Indiana currently has by far the highest number of deaths in America. Hoosier state is the only one to record more than 1.2 deaths per 100,000 people, at 1.51.
Three other states experience more than one Covid death per 100,000 people daily, Delaware (1.16 per 100,000 people), Wyoming (1.14) and New Mexico (1.05).