2. Mourning 100,000: Virus keeps foothold in South
Overall, new coronavirus infections in the U.S. are on the decline. But a small handful of states, mainly clustered in the South, aren't seeing any improvement, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Sam Baker report.
The big picture: A day after the nation passed the tragic milestone of 100,000 coronavirus deaths, America is making overall progress.
- But it's fragile, and it’s not universal. Stubborn pockets of infection put lives at risk, and they can spread, especially as state lockdowns continue to ease.
Where it stands: Each week, Axios is tracking the change in confirmed coronavirus infections in every state.
- We’re using a seven-day average, to minimize the distortions of reporting delays or similar technical issues.
Ten states have not seen a single week of significant improvement — their caseloads have either gotten worse or have held steady all month.
- Most of them are in the South: Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
- But a handful of other, more populous states — California, Minnesota and Wisconsin — also stand out for their consistently lagging progress. Maine and Utah also have not reported a single week of significant improvement.
Between the lines: The number of total cases is a flawed but important metric.
- The number of confirmed cases will go up as testing improves, so spikes in some areas may simply reflect a more accurate handle on the situation, and not a situation that’s getting worse.
- Even so, to get this pandemic under control and safely continue getting back out into the world, we still need the total number of new cases to decline.
What we’re watching: This analysis is a snapshot. Any number of states have seen their case numbers yo-yo — up one week and down the next, or vice versa.