Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Editor's note: This graphic was corrected to reflect Pennsylvania's cases increased 5% (not 32%); Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise, Danielle Alberti/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic is getting dramatically worse in almost every corner of the U.S.

The big picture: The U.S. today is getting closer to the worst-case scenario envisioned in the spring — a nationwide crisis, made worse by a vacuum of political leadership, threatening to overwhelm hospitals and spread out of control.

  • Nationwide, cases are up 30% compared to the beginning of this month, and dramatically worsening outbreaks in several states are beginning to strain hospital capacity — the same concern that prompted the nationwide lockdown in the first place.
  • This is the grimmest map in the eight weeks since Axios began tracking the change in new cases in every state.

By the numbers: Over half the country — 26 states — have seen their coronavirus caseloads increase over the past week.

  • New cases are up 77% in Arizona, 75% in Michigan, 70% in Texas and 66% in Florida.
  • California, which has seen steady increases for weeks, recorded a 47% jump in new infections over the past week.
  • These steep increases come after weeks of steadily climbing cases or back-and-forth results across the South, Midwest and West Coast. Only the New York region and parts of New England — the earliest hotspots — have consistently managed to get their caseloads down throughout May and June.

Increased testing does not explain away these numbers. Other data points make clear that we’re seeing a worsening outbreak, not simply getting better data.

  • Seven states, including Arizona, have set records for the number of people hospitalized with coronavirus, and the percentage of all tests that come back positive is also increasing.
  • The whole point of the national lockdown was to buy time to improve testing and give infection levels a chance to level off without overwhelming hospitals. That worked in New York, but as other parts of the country begin to see their outbreaks intensify later, the same risks are back at the forefront.

Between the lines: Axios uses a rolling seven-day average to minimize the effects of any abnormalities in how and when new cases are reported.

What’s next: Younger people are making up a greater share of all cases, and tend to be less susceptible to serious injury or death, so hopefully this spike in new cases won’t be followed by an equivalent spike in deaths.

  • But it’s too early to say that for sure.

Editor's note: This graphic was corrected to reflect Pennsylvania's cases increased 5% (not 32%).

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases flat or growing in 48 states

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

The number of coronavirus cases increased in the vast majority of states over the last week, and decreased in only two states plus the District of Columbia.

Why it matters: This is a grim reminder that no part of the United States is safe from the virus. If states fail to contain their outbreaks, they could soon face exponential spread and overwhelmed health systems.

Case growth outpacing testing in coronavirus hotspots

Data: The COVID Tracking Project. Note: Vermont and Hawaii were not included because they have fewer than 20 cases per day. Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't due to increased testing — particularly not where cases have grown fastest over the last month.

Why it matters: The U.S. doesn't yet know what it looks like when a pandemic rages on relatively unchecked after the health system has become overwhelmed. It may be about to find out.

Updated Jul 10, 2020 - Health

Which states have set single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: COVID Tracking Project and state health department data compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti and Naema Ahmed/Axios

13 states this week surpassed records set just last week for their highest number of coronavirus infections in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health department data. 16 states in total reported new highs.

The big picture: The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't just due to increased testing — particularly where the number of cases has grown fastest over the last month, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.