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New coronavirus lockdowns might be needed in these 4 states

Published Sep 1st, 2020 10:12PM EDT
Coronavirus update
Image: Yury/Adobe

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  • The latest coronavirus update for the US shows a worrying trend – COVID-19 cases are on the rise again, in a little more than half the country.
  • The data shows that coronavirus cases are increasing at an alarming-enough rate in four states, in particular, that they should probably consider imposing a lockdown of some sort.
  • To date, there have been more than 6 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the US.

The latest coronavirus update from the team at Johns Hopkins University tracking the daily changes in data related to the COVID-19 pandemic shows that as of Tuesday, there have been more than 6 million confirmed cases of the virus in the US thus far. Additionally, more than 184,000 deaths have been confirmed in the US. That’s an indicator that the pandemic’s effects remain so destructive — but what’s worse is that the pandemic is becoming even more of a gathering storm across the US at the moment.

A CNBC analysis of the latest data shows that new coronavirus cases are up in a little more than half of the country. In 26 states as of Sunday, to be more specific, compared to increases seen in 12 states a week ago.

New coronavirus cases had been falling in the aggregate for more than a month, but this analysis shows that they’ve plateaued now to about 40,000 new cases or so a day. Moreover, Midwest states are seeing a lot of the new growth in cases, such as in the Dakotas. As we noted yesterday, North Dakota by one measure may be seeing the worst new COVID-19 outbreak in the US at the moment.

If you turn to the Harvard Global Health Institute’s color-coded map of coronavirus risk levels around the US (which looks at the seven-day moving average of new daily cases per 100,000 people), that metric helps pinpoint four states in particular where the risk level is such that they should consider a lockdown of some sort. The states include:

Alabama. Its warning signs include the following: Not only does it have a high new case rate of 27.3 per 100,000 people, which should trigger a new stay-at-home order according to the HGHI map, but the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center also shows the state has a high rate of positive coronavirus tests, at 17.1%.

Iowa. According to the HGHI map as of the time of this writing, Iowa has the highest rate of daily new coronavirus cases in the US — 34.6 per 100,000 people. And it’s already ventured down the stay-at-home road with a partial lockdown, shutting down establishments like bars in six counties.

North Dakota. On Monday, we pointed to data from The New York Times, which shows that the state’s record week that ended August 28 means it’s currently dealing with one of the biggest coronavirus case increases in the country right now on a per-capita basis. Additionally, cases in North Dakota are up 64% from two weeks ago, with the state now seeing about 214 cases per day on average.

South Dakota. The situation in South Dakota has worsened in the aftermath of the controversial Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which brought a large crowd of anti-maskers to the area. The state’s latest data from the HGHI is showing 29.2 new daily cases of coronavirus per 100,000. Likewise, according to Covid Act Now, South Dakota is reporting a coronavirus infection rate of 1.31 and a positive test rate of 17.8%.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.