Covid in causing massive case increases across the U.S. to start the New Year, with less-vaccinated states across the south being especially hit hard. Deaths across America are not rising to the same rate as cases, though, signaling the now dominant Omicron variant is not as severe of previous strains of the virus.
Mississippi is the leader in case growth over the past two weeks, up 702 percent over that period. On average, 180 of every 100,000 residents are testing positive for the virus every day. Texas is following just behind, with a 678 percent jump in cases over the past two weeks.
Like many of their peers with high case growth over the past two weeks, deaths in both states have remained relatively low, at around 0.3 per every 100,000 residents every day.
This not only signals how highly infectious this new strain is, but how mild it may be as well.
Other southern states, South Carolina (652 percent increase over the past two weeks), Kentucky (578 percent), Louisiana (546 percent), Arkansas (526 percent) and Alabama (522 percent) have all also suffered sharp increases in daily cases in recent weeks.
Many of these states are among those with the lowest vaccination rates in America, with all falling below the 63 percent national pace of fully vaccinated residents.
Despite the large portion of unvaccinated residents, deaths have not spiked to the same level cases have over recent weeks in the region.
Louisiana, for example, is among the states with the lowest death rate with 0.18 of every 100,000 residents dying of Covid every day, the sixth lowest rate of any state in America.
Only Kentucky and Arkansas have death rates higher than 0.5 out of every 100,000 over the past week, and both are well under the national leaders with 0.6 and 0.63 respectively.
While the south has been struck the hardest, cases are rising nearly everywhere in America. Maine is the only one of 50 states that is recording a decrease in cases over the past two weeks, down ten percent.
The other 49 states, and the District of Columbia, are all recording case increases over the past 14 days. Cases have doubled in all but four states during that period.
The northeast has much higher vaccination rate than the south, with states like Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut all leading the nation is vaccination rates. Still, though, the region suffers a huge surge in cases.
Vermont, where a nation-high 78 percent of residents are fully vaccinated cases are up 192 percent over the past two weeks. Over that period, cases are also up 216 percent in Rhode Island (77 percent vaccination rate), 172 percent in Connecticut (75 percent) and 178 percent in Massachusetts (75 percent).
In the Midwest, Kansas has experienced a 418 percent increase in cases over 14 days, among the nation leaders. Neighboring Missouri is right behind them, recording a 395 percent jump in infections since late December.
States along the west coast are experiencing massive surges as well, with a 405 percent increase in California, and 431 percent in Oregon. Alaska is also among the nations leaders with cases increasing six-fold over a 14 day period.
New York and New Jersey still retain the dubious honor of having the highest case rates in America. In the Empire state, 381 of every 100,000 residents are testing positive for the virus every day – with many of those cases being in New York City – while 355 of every 100,000 New Jersians are recording infections daily.
No other state has an infection rate of more than 300 of every 100,000.
Leaders in cases are not quite leading the nation in deaths, though.
Delaware is the nation’s leader in Covid deaths, with 1.16 of every 100,000 residents dying from the virus every day. Wyoming falls just behind, with 1.14 of every 100,000, and Indiana at 1.07 of every 100,000.
Two longtime leaders in daily deaths, Michigan and Pennsylvania, find themselves among the nationwide leaders as well, with just over one of every 100,000 residents dying from the virus every day. No other state is suffering Covid deaths at that level, despite rampant case increases nationwide.