The winter surge is hitting Florida, a handful of other Southern states, and California swiftly at year’s end, adding the nation’s winter refuge states to the COVID-19 crisis that first started hitting Northern and Midwestern states several weeks earlier.
The latest available federal data shows that Florida is one of five states — along with Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and California — where the numbers of new cases increased by more than 150% during the week that ended Tuesday.
Florida confirmed 206,358 new cases of COVID-19 during that seven-day period, a record for a week, according to the most recent data posted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That included 46,923 cases reported for Tuesday alone, a record for one day.
New York and New Jersey continue to have more serious outbreaks than Florida or the other Sunbelt states on a per-capita basis, though their caseloads are not growing as fast.
New York recorded 288,000 cases during the week ending Tuesday, which amounts to 1,483 new cases for every 100,000 people in the state. New Jersey has the nation’s second-worst rate, recording 107,575 new cases, or 1,211 per 100,000 people.
Florida, however, is moving up swiftly and is now third behind New York and New Jersey.
The latest week’s new caseload is equal to 961 new COVID-19 infections per 100,000 Floridians. That moves Florida’s caseload rate past 15 other states that had greater per-capita outbreaks for the week ending Dec. 21, including Ohio, Illinois, Delaware, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, and all the New England states.
On Tuesday, Florida became the third state to surpass 4 million cases of COVID-19 through the pandemic. Florida’s most recently reported total — 4,012,152 confirmed cases in 20 months — amounts to about one COVID-19 infection for every six residents, or equal to 18.7% of the population.
California has seen the most cases, 5.4 million, equal to about 13.5% of its population; Texas has seen 4.5 million cases, about 15.6% of its population; New York, 3.3 million, about 17% of its population; and Illinois 2.1 million cases, or 16.6% of its population.
Among the 23 states with at least 5 million residents, only three have caseloads that amount to more larger proportions of the populations: Tennessee’s caseload equals 20.3% of the state’s population, Wisconsins is at 18.8% and Arizona is at 18.7%.
Last updated on December 30, 2021