The United States has surpassed more than 4.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. The four largest states — New York, Florida, California, and Texas — have each reported more than 360,000 total cases. Yet there are eight more states, many of them with a fraction of the population size, that have also reported more than 100,000 cases.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on confirmed COVID-19 cases, as reported by local and state government health agencies since the outbreak began, to determine the states with the highest number of confirmed cases per capita. We calculated the total number of COVID-19 diagnoses per 100,000 residents since the start of the outbreak in each state using one-year population data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey. Data is as of July 26 for all states except Oregon and Texas, for which data is as of July 24.
From the beginning of the pandemic up until mid-July, New York and New Jersey had the first and second highest rates of COVID-19 per capita, respectively. They now rank behind Louisiana and Arizona, though all four have more than 2,000 diagnoses for every 100,000 state residents. While the northeastern part of the country was hit the hardest towards the beginning of the outbreak, other states, particularly those in the South and West, are now catching up to and surpassing the Northeast. Of the 11 states with more than 1,500 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, the majority are in the South.
As the virus continues to spread, state and local leaders have been forced to either pause reopening efforts or reinstitute some restrictions that had been relaxed as COVID-19 numbers waned. However, there has not been consistency as to whether or not to require masks indoors, allow youth sports to return, and permit restaurants and bars to serve patrons indoors. These are every state’s rules for staying open and social distancing.