Covid Spike in U.S. South Dwarfs All Earlier Regional Hot Spots

Coronavirus cases in the South are rising quickly and account for a larger portion of the U.S. total than anywhere else.

The region saw 82,074 new cases on average this week, about 20,000 more than the Midwest’s peak in November. In Alabama, more than 45% of tests over the past two weeks came back positive, according toBama Tracker, an unofficial but authoritative tally.

Most Southern states saw average cases climbing Monday compared with the week prior. Tennessee and South Carolina stood out in the Census-defined region with the worst new case rates over the past seven days, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The case load has filtered through to the region’s hospitals, where 41% of the nation’s Covid-19 patients are being treated. Texas and Florida are the largest contributors, but scaled for population, Alabama has one of the most strained hospital systems in the country.

The surge comes as the nation turns it attention to the South, specifically Georgia, where a runoff election Tuesday is set to determine control of the U.S. Senate for the first two years of Joe Biden’s presidency. Georgia reported 4,030 new cases Monday, and cases are rising, though winter holidays may still be altering the data and overstating some spikes.

Nationally, the U.S. recorded 177,669 new Covid-19 cases on Monday. In total, the virus has killed about 353,640 people in the U.S., according toJohns Hopkins University data.

According to Covid Tracking Project data:

  • Washington state posted a single-day record case count on Monday.
  • Connecticut, Kansas and Washington reported the most new cases per million people.

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