New U.S. COVID cases are down 20%. See how your state is doing
New COVID cases are dropping dramatically across most U.S. states after being hit with a Delta surge from August through mid-September.
The Delta wave, which brought new daily average cases to their highest since late January, overwhelmed hospital systems, especially in the south, and forced some states to call in the National Guard for aid.
Now, with conditions improving, some are cautiously optimistic that the worst of the recent surge could be behind us.
Over the past two weeks, new cases have dropped by about 20% overall and most states saw cases decline or remain constant. After almost continually rising since late July, deaths have also seemingly plateaued at about an average of 2,000 per day for the past two weeks.
Sunbelt states that were hardest hit recently by the Delta variant are now showing the biggest decreases in new cases over the past 14 days, according to a Fortune analysis of New York Times data.
A few weeks ago, Florida was experiencing the biggest surge in cases of the 50 states. It regularly reported more than 20,000 cases a day in August. Over the last two weeks, COVID cases in Florida dropped 57.1%, the most of any state. As of Wednesday, the state is still averaging about 5,417 new cases per day.
Part of the reason for the overall drop in cases is the increase in vaccinations across the country. Earlier this month, President Biden mandated that employers with more than 100 employees require vaccination or weekly COVID testing for workers. As of Wednesday, 65% of eligible Americans ages 12 and up have been fully vaccinated, and 75% have received one dose.
Still, not all is back to normal. Several states in the Northeast, where cases have been relatively low, such as Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania saw slight increases.
Alaska saw the largest uptick in new COVID cases, with a more than 99% increase over the past two weeks. The state also has the highest concentration of cases, with 176 new cases per 100,000 residents. The surge is overwhelming hospitals in both rural and urban areas. Last week, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy contracted 400 out-of-state health care workers to assist Alaskan hospitals.
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