For months, health officials have worried that fall and winter would bring another surge in COVID-19, as cooler weather brings people indoors, where the virus is more easily transmitted. One week after the official start of fall, several states are setting ominous records. Here are the five latest coronavirus hotspots. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
This week, local health officials said coronavirus cases are growing at an “alarming” rate in 11 New York City ZIP codes. After months of keeping the state infection rate below 1%, the city reported a 3.25% infection rate on Tuesday. The increase was driven by several of those neighborhoods. “This is an inflection point,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We have to take more action at this point, and more serious action. We will be escalating with each day, depending on what we see happening on the ground and the test results we’re getting.”
On Tuesday, the state health department reported 17 COVID-19 deaths, the highest single-day number since late May. The state’s testing positivity rate is 22%. (According to experts, a positivity rate under 1% indicates enough testing is being done, and adequate testing can help stem the virus.) “We are in a crisis right now,” said Wisconsin’s chief medical officer. “The likelihood that this is going to get much worse before it gets better is a real one.”
Kansas has seen a record rise in the number of new COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks, ABC News reported on Tuesday. Sixty-five out of 105 counties in the state have so many cases that they’re in the “red zone” of the state’s school reopening plan, which signifies that schools should cancel in-person classes, the Wichita Eagle said.
In the last two weeks, Missouri has seen a record increase in the number of people hospitalized for coronavirus, ABC News reported. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, an opponent of mandatory mask wearing, and his wife recently tested positive for COVID-19.
Like Missouri, North Dakota has seen a record rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations, and its seven-day average of cases has hit an all-time high, at 54 cases per 100,000 residents. Bloomberg News noted that’s nearly as bad as Florida’s surge in July.
As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.