May 26, 2022 - Health

Hawaii reports highest rate of new COVID cases

Change in reported COVID-19 cases per 100k people in the last two weeks
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

An ongoing surge of reported COVID cases in the Northeast showed signs of easing even as cases continued to jump around the rest of the country.

Why it matters: While this data likely understates the actual number of cases, it's an indicator of a "hidden wave" of cases burning through social circles across the U.S. right now even as America fights to get back to normalcy.

  • It comes as anecdotal reports of COVID among groups of friends, and a slew of confirmed cases of high-profile individuals, most recently Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

By the numbers: There were roughly 108,000 new daily cases over the last week, up 28% from about 84,500 two weeks ago.

  • Hawaii had the highest case rate, reporting 71 new cases per 100,000 people over the last two weeks. It was one of more than a dozen states with 40 or more new cases per 100,000 people in that time period.
  • States in the Northeast continued to report some of the highest case rates in the nation even as they showed declines in their overall numbers over the past two weeks. Rhode Island, which reported a dip in overall cases, posted 69 new cases per 100,000 people.
  • Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin all reported drops.

Between the lines: Average deaths rose 1% over the past two weeks, staying at roughly 330 a day.

Reality check: The data on new cases is getting less reliable as more people turn to home test results rather than publicly-reporting testing. But it still offers a window into the broad trends of COVID spread.

The bottom line: COVID is spreading. And as safety measures continue to take the back burner, viruses that were less prevalent during lockdowns have returned "in unexpected ways," STAT reported this week.

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