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Virus May Strike These States Next, Warns Virus Expert

Check if your state could be in danger.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

The coronavirus pandemic won't be ending anytime soon, not with 65 million Americans still left unvaccinated. So how can you stay safe given the fact that the winter months tend to drive people more indoors, where the "more transmissible" Delta variant can prey on you? Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, listed some states that may soon be in even more danger. As far as fully vaccinated people, "15 states are below 50%. I'm worried about the winter ahead for these states," he said. Read on to see which states have been namechecked—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Idaho Has "Lost the War" and COVID is "Here to Stay" Unless More People Get Vaccinated

Sun Valley, Idaho

"Major Idaho hospitals have been operating in crisis standards of care for weeks. And for months, elected representatives, public health officials and hospital leaders have been pleading with Idaho residents to get vaccinated, which they have said is the only viable path to ending the pandemic more quickly," reports the Idaho Statesman. "But data show that those pleas have not been heeded by much of the public. Over the past month, the number of new people getting vaccinated has fallen while the hospitals have been in crisis." Dr. Steven Nemerson, the chief clinical officer at Saint Alphonsus Health System, said the state "lost the war." "The reason it is here to stay is because we cannot vaccinate enough of the public to fully eradicate the disease," he said. "And absent being able to do that … we now need to move into the phase of recognizing that COVID is going to be a disease to be managed for the long-term future."


Wyoming is "Like a War Zone"

Wyoming welcome sign

"The coronavirus has hospitalized more people in Wyoming than at any point in the COVID-19 pandemic, with one public health officer saying the situation is 'like a war zone' at one of the state's biggest hospitals," reports Buckrail. "Wyoming hospitals had 249 COVID-19 patients on Thursday, topping the previous high of 247 in November. The vast majority weren't vaccinated. Unvaccinated people have accounted for 98% of all new cases in Wyoming since May 1, the Casper Star-Tribune reported. Wyoming's surge coincided with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the U.S., currently about 43%. Only West Virginia ranks lower for COVID-19 vaccination. The strain on Wyoming hospitals, meanwhile, has been more prolonged than previously."

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West Virginia Has the Lowest Vaccination Rate of Any U.S. State

Charleston, West Virginia

Reports Newsweek: "West Virginia has the lowest vaccination rate of any state in the country and if it maintains this pace, it's unlikely to have 70 percent of its adult population starting their vaccination process until February 2023, according to the Brown University tracker. The 70 percent mark is believed to be the minimum amount of vaccinations needed to slow the spread of COVID-19. While the majority of states have already met that mark, only about 58 percent of West Virginia's adult population have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and the state's struggling to convince significant portions of its residents to get inoculated."

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North Dakota is Barely Aboive 50% in Full Vaccinations

"Even more North Dakotans with COVID-19 have died, adding to a recent surge amid spread of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus," reports the Bismarck Tribune. "The new deaths were reflected on the Health Department's virus dashboard Friday, raising North Dakota's pandemic death toll to 1,714. The state no longer publicly reports the county, sex and age range of newly confirmed deaths. The dashboard death total for Morton County increased by one, to 114. Burleigh County's total remained unchanged, at 230."

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Mississippi Just Surpassed 10,000 COVID Deaths

Jackson, Mississippi, USA skyline over the Capitol Building.

"The Mississippi State Department of Health reported Monday that 10,024 people have died of COVID-19 or its complications in the state, which has a population of around 3 million," reports WAPT. "​​The state reported its first coronavirus-related death on March 19, 2020. Around 70% of people who have died were at least 65 years old. Around 39% were Black and around 57% were white. Close to 25% of all people who died had hypertension. Nine of those killed by the virus were children and 15 were pregnant women."

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How to Stay Safe Out There

Woman with face mask getting vaccinated, coronavirus, covid-19 and vaccination concept.

Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek