There are new, more transmissible, coronavirus variants in America and the CDC is concerned. "New virus variants that spread more easily could lead to a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases," says the CDC. "NOW more than ever, it is important to slow the spread." "We're sounding the alarm and urging people to realize the pandemic is not over and in no way is it time to throw in the towel," added Dr. Jay Butler, deputy director for infectious diseases at the CDC. In order to stay safe in your state, we used the CDC's COVID Data Tracker to see "the number of predicted COVID-19 cases and deaths in your area" so you can "use the data to help make decisions to protect yourself, your family, and your community." Read on to see if your state made the list—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Alabama will have to step up vaccination efforts in order to slow deaths. So far, they are last in the nation. "Alabama has fallen behind the rest of the country in vaccination efforts, averaging just 2,051 shots per every 100,000 residents," reports Fox News. "The state, which as of Monday opened up appointments for residents 75 and older and first responders in addition to health care workers, has administered just shy of 100,600 of the 444,640 doses distributed thus far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccine tracker."
The new "hot spot" for COVID-19, Arizona is struggling with cases and rising deaths. And not just among adults—kids too. "It's a long recovery for many of them, and on occasion they will die from it," said Dr. David Moromisato, Banner Desert Medical Center Chief Medical Officer, yesterday. "They're getting hospitalized with pretty severe illness. Some of them are going into the pediatric intensive care unit. They're ending up on ventilators."
You'd have to live under a rock to not know California is the worst place in the country right now for coronavirus. "Hospitals throughout the state remain overwhelmed with patients seeking treatment. Covid-19 hospitalizations have dropped to just under 21,000 patients, but the number of available ICU beds remain incredibly low. There are just 1,113 ICU beds available statewide," reports CNN. "About 90% of the state remains under stay-at-home orders due in part to limited intensive care unit capacity."
"While Mayor Muriel E. Bowser of Washington, D.C., was grappling with the riot that tore through the Capitol last week, another crisis was slowly unfolding: a surge of coronavirus in the district," reports the New York Times. "Washington averaged 290 new coronavirus cases a day in the seven-day period that ended Sunday, the most the city has seen during any week of the pandemic. The surge is part of a broader upward tide throughout the nation's Mid-Atlantic region: Virginia, Maryland and Delaware also set weekly case records on Sunday."
"Deaths in Florida – at 110 per 100,000 residents – have surpassed those in California, at 81 per 100,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," reports Fox News. "In October, [Gov. Ron] DeSantis said statewide school closures because of the coronavirus are not a viable option and 'should be off the table.' The higher numbers, however, may reflect Florida's older population."
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks Georgia at 49 out of the 50 states at rate of vaccination – only ahead of Alabama.
As of Friday, 5,584 people remained hospitalized from the virus across the state," reports WSB-TV. "That makes up roughly 32.5% of all the state's patients. The state says about 91% of all the available hospital beds in Georgia are currently in use because of the rise in COVID-19 cases."
"Hawaii reported 129 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, pushing the statewide total since the pandemic began to 24,482. There have been 2,232 cases in the last 14 days," reports Hawaii News Now. "It's the 14th consecutive day Hawaii has seen a triple-digit rise in new cases."
"The Louisiana Department of Health confirmed Saturday the state's first identified case of the COVID-19 variant, SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7., frequently referred to as the U.K. variant because it is prevalent in the United Kingdom, in an individual in the Greater New Orleans area," according to KATC News. "This variant spreads more easily from one person to another than other viral strains currently circulating in the United States, though it has not been shown to cause more severe disease. Health experts believe current COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the variant strain."
"One day after Massachusetts confirmed a new strain of COVID-19 is in the state, researchers in Maine say it's not a matter of if, but when, it'll reach Vacationland," reports WGME. "Researchers at Jackson Labs say they study hundreds of COVID-19 cases each week and just started intense testing and research a few weeks ago. This is all part of their partnership with the Maine CDC to track new variants of COVID-19 in the state."
"Maryland adds 1,769 coronavirus cases coming into Monday as hospitalizations jumped up slightly," reports WJZ. "There have now been 328,214 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began in Maryland. Twenty-nine more people have died, bringing the total to 6,423."
"Massachusetts announced its first confirmed case of the new, more contagious COVID variant on Sunday, but some medical experts in the state say they aren't surprised," reports 10 Boston. "Dr. Katherine Gergen Barnett with Boston Medical Center says it may not even be the first case. 'The fact that we just identified it yesterday in Massachusetts doesn't mean that this is our first case,' Gergen Barnett said. 'I think that likely we have had this circulating in our population for a few weeks.'"
"Clark County reports a sobering milestone Sunday as it surpasses 200,000 COVID-19 cases," reports 8 News Now. "With the addition of 1,337 positive tests recorded in the last day, the county's total now stands at 200,597. Nevada is reporting 1,483 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 261,573." "This is a milestone we never wanted to reach. Every case reported is an individual whose illness has had an impact on a family, a friend and our community," said Dr. Fermin Leguen, Acting Chief Health Officer for the Southern Nevada Health District.
"New Hampshire health officials this weekend announced the COVID-19-related deaths of two more men from Cheshire County," reports Sentinel Source. "Like the other 23 New Hampshire residents whose deaths from coronavirus complications were reported Saturday and Sunday, they were 60 or older. Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Keene Center said Monday that two more residents of the nursing home have died from complications of COVID-19 amid an outbreak there. The state didn't specify if that's where the two Cheshire County deaths came from."
"New York State's COVID-19 positivity rate and deaths fell slightly Friday as officials continue to wrestle with a 'limited supply' of vaccine and a more contagious variant of the virus, Gov. Cuomo said," reports the Daily News. "In a Saturday statement on the latest data, Cuomo said 5.77% of people taking COVID tests were found to have the disease, down from Thursday's rate of 6.14%. He added that 157 people died, compared with Thursday's 183." The CDC predicts this number to rise.
"Less than a quarter of all hospital beds in North Carolina remain available, according to the most recent information from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Nationwide, the state is faring pretty well, though it does rank in the top 10 for the total number of inpatient beds at hospitals being used for COVID-19 patients," reports WRAL. "California tops the list, with more than 30,000 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, according to federal data released last week. North Carolina, which is much smaller in geographic size and population, has more than 4,100 people in hospitals with coronavirus, making it ninth in the nation."
"Doctors across Oklahoma are warning residents to not let their guard down as we get closer to the one year anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic first affecting the Sooner State," reports KFOR. "The entire state of Oklahoma has no beds, no ICU beds. And actually this morning, my partner that worked overnight, he flew somebody to Missouri," said Dr. Carlos Cabrera, with SSM Health Saint Anthony Hospital Shawnee.
"The pressure is mounting to speed up the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Now in North Carolina, anyone 65 and older can get vaccinated. Across state lines in South Carolina, officials are not moving in the direction the federal government recommends, sticking to people 70 and older," reports WCNC. "And while the goal is to get as many people as possible vaccinated, it seems there isn't a large enough supply of the vaccine. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said the vaccine process is 'not moving fast enough.'"
"A mesmerizing field of red white and pink flags has transformed the grass in front of Shane Reilly's central Austin home into a blanket of color. This eye-catching tribute became a daily project for Reilly starting in May," reports KXAN. "I thought: 'How do I visually represent it?'" Reilly told the channel. "These are real people and there's a lot of them." "As of Monday, Reilly has placed more than 32,000 flags in his yard — he's now putting out more than 200 flags every day." Each for a COVID death.
"Vermont has reached a new milestone in the number of COVID-19 cases identified in the state. On Sunday, the Department of Health reported the 10,000th case of COVID-19 in Vermont. This comes just over 10 months after the first case was identified in the state," reports VPR.
"Compared to other states, Virginia is lagging behind when it comes to getting coronavirus shots into arms. To date, the Virginia Department of Health has distributed 943, 400 doses but only administered 324, 965 — roughly 34 percent. That percentage falls in the bottom five of all states," reports WRIC.
"Three COVID-19 infections diagnosed in Washington in October were caused by virus with a mutation that might boost the respiratory bug's ability to dodge immune defenses," reports the Seattle Times. "The mutation, called E484K, is also present in two of the worrisome new viral variants spreading around the globe — those that originated in South Africa and Brazil. But the virus detected in Washington did not have any of the other mutations that characterize those variants, said researchers at the UW Medicine Virology Lab."
Despite the CDC predicting deaths to rise, the state is doing well vaccinating. "As states work to accelerate the pace of administering COVID-19 vaccines and improve the rocky rollout of the shots, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice praised his state for its successful vaccine distribution, calling it the 'diamond in the rough,'" reports CBS News. "Right now, we're at 98.1%, as far as vaccines in people's arms or names tied to it, you know, that are going to be put into people's arms immediately," Justice, a Republican, told Face the Nation. "We're saving all kinds of lives. We're putting our kids back in school. West Virginia has been the diamond in the rough that a lot of people have missed."
How to Survive This Pandemic No Matter Where You Live
Follow public health fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.