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Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise, Naema Ahmed/Axios

Coronavirus cases are quickly spreading in Arizona, a handful of southern and western states and, ominously, Oklahoma — the planned site of President Trump's controversial rally this weekend.

Why it matters: Once community spread takes off, cases can begin to increase exponentially.

The big picture: “We’re at a point where there are warning signs going off, and people need to take steps to help control it," said Chris Meekins, a health policy research analyst at the investment bank Raymond James.

By the numbers: Oklahoma has seen a 91% jump in its coronavirus cases over the past week, and new cases are up 53% in Arizona.

Between the lines: Each week, Axios is documenting the change in new cases in each state. We use a seven-day average to minimize inconsistencies in when new cases are reported.

  • Overall, new coronavirus cases are up 11% nationwide over the past week.

New cases alone don't measure the extent of a state's outbreak, but many of these same states also are in worsening shape according to other measures.

  • Arizona, South Carolina, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Florida have seen significant growth in the percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive over the last two weeks, according to Nephron Research, indicating that the case growth in these states isn't solely attributable to more testing.
  • Arizona, Texas, North Carolina and Alabama have also hit record hospitalizations in the last few days.
  • “For the first time, I would have to say, I’m growing worried about the system,” Donald Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association, told the Alabama Political Reporter. He said that the Tuscaloosa area had only one ICU bed available Tuesday morning.

What we're watching: “Ultimately, the president doesn’t ask for permission before he” goes places, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said yesterday, per Reuters. “So we found out that president was coming, so we are going to make sure it’s the best and as safe as possible.”

The bottom line: “People are going to want to react to really bad numbers," Harvard's Ashish Jha said. But "if you don’t slow the virus down, it'll keep going up, and exponential growth is a bad thing. Because it's building on itself.”

Go deeper

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

UN poll: Most see climate change as global emergency amid pandemic

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (C) fronts a Fridays For Future protest at the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm in September. Photo: Jonathan Nacksrtrand/AFP via Getty Images

64% of people from around the world say climate change is a global emergency, a United Nations poll published Wednesday finds.

Why it matters: It's biggest global survey on climate change ever conducted, with some 1.2 million participants from 50 countries — including the U.S. where 65% of those surveyed view climate change as an emergency.

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.