COVID-19 spreading fastest in Florida, South, California

Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak concept, background with flags of the states of USA. State of Florida flag. Pandemic stop Novel Coronavirus outbreak covid-19 3D illustration.
Florida just surpassed 4 million COVID-19 cases, joining California and Texas.

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%.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


  • Jerry

    January 1, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    Who cares about cases? For the vast majority, Omicron is like the common cold. Heck, even the CDC says you only need to isolate for 5 days now.

    COVID is doing what these kind of viruses all eventually do…mutate to less lethal, but faster-spreading strains. This will continue forever. We are never going to eliminate the virus. Mankind cannot defeat or control mother nature. Sorry, I know some of you don’t want to accept it, but it’s reality. We will never eliminate this virus. We have to live with it.

    • Charles In Pensacola

      January 2, 2022 at 12:08 am

      As usual your posts are completely fact-less and retarded, and your line of stupid thinking is the reason nearly 1 million people are dead due to Covid.

      Common cold? Tell that to the people that have died from the virus.

      Yes, we have to live with viruses. But you are offering absurd advice. Not taking vaccines, not social distancing, not wearing masks–all those things continue to allow the virus to spread.

      Had Ronald Reagan not ignored AIDS much like you want us to ignore Covid, then millions of people may not have died from that virus. I guess Republicans never learn.

  • John Barron

    January 3, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    You must look at this at a macro level not micro. Yes, the mortality rate for Covid is lower than say, Ebola, but it is more communicable and more lethal than the flu. In addition; it is not just the deaths you should be concerned about. You can still be hospitalized and that is more common. The more people in hospital, the less beds available for other people. My wife asked me why ICU space is low. Cannot they make any room equipped with ICU beds. The capacity is based upon the staffing a hospital has with nurses and doctors. You can have a hospital full of ICU beds but if you don’t have the staff; you are at capacity even with empty beds. The fact that health care workers are exhausted and some are quitting; capacity is just going to get worse. Meaning more people will die, not only from Covid, but from other ailments as they will be unable to get care. Yes Omicron appears to be less lethal but what about the next mutation or previous mutations? There are three types of plague: septic, pneumonic and bubonic. Septic is the easiest to transfer and the most deadly. It was not AS prevalent because it killed too fast, but it is still around. Omicron may be replacing Delta, but Delta is still around. You have a better shot as not going to the hospital if you do the socially responsible thing and vaccinate. You have a lower chance of transmitting Covid to others if you wear a mask, socially distance and wash your hands. A person’s freedom should not impact the health and safety of another individual. Locke even wrote that to live in a society; we have to give up certain, but obviously not all rights. I cannot drive drunk because of the risk it puts others in not to mention myself. Speeding tickets are annoying but I assume we can agree that you should drive slowly through a school zone even if you are late to work. It just boggles my mind that grown adults are fighting so hard against measures to protect the most vulnerable in our society. No one wants to wear a mask. Based upon what I’ve witnessed in bathrooms, some people don’t even like to wash their hands. But regardless of our personal beliefs(religious, political, etc); cannot we agree to protect those people who are vulnerable?

    I miss this country before social media took over.

Comments are closed.


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