States Where the Virus Is Spreading the Fastest

On Oct. 23, the United States set a single day record for the most new reported cases of COVID-19, at 77,057. The following day, it broke that record, with nearly 79,000 cases reported. This comes less than two months after new daily reported cases had fallen as low as 22,000. Now cases are surging in the vast majority of states, and public health experts anticipate that things could get even worse during the winter months.

Using data from state and local health departments, 24/7 Wall St. calculated each state’s average of new daily COVID-19 cases for the week ending Oct. 26 and compared it to the average from the previous week to determine the states where the spread of the coronavirus is declining the fastest, where it has remained relatively unchanged, and where it is still increasing.

At other points during the pandemic, the spread has often been concentrated in one part of the country. This current surge is significantly more widespread. The 10 states that reported the largest increase in new daily cases can be found in the Northeast, Midwest, South, and West. 

Almost all of the states that reported relatively high cases per capita the previous week also reported substantial increases in cases in the most recent seven days. Notably, however, South Dakota reported the largest decline in new cases, a decrease of 7 new daily cases per 100,000 residents in the week ending Oct. 26 compared to the previous week. This is compared to the national increase of nearly 3 new daily cases per 100,000. 

Despite the decrease in daily cases in South Dakota, the state still has the second fastest rate of spread of any state, at an average of 70 new daily cases per 100,000 the past week, behind only its neighbor North Dakota. Neither state issued a stay-at-home-order like most others did in the early days of the pandemic to help contain the virus’s spread. Here is a look at standing COVID-19 restrictions for restaurants — or lack there of — in each state.

Click here to see how fast COVID-19 is spreading in all 50 states.

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