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These 6 States "In Throes of Serious Surge," Says Virus Expert

See if your state is on the list.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

The coronavirus may be "turning a corner" but don't let down your guard yet, warns noted virus expert Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. "I have probably been one of those voices out there that is often not welcomed in most settings because of my assessment of what I think will happen and why we have to be better prepared for that," he said on the latest episode of his podcast. He said last Spring "that I thought that we still have some of the darkest days of the pandemic ahead of us, no one wanted to hear that. I take no comfort in having said that, but the variant data just made it clear and compelling to me that this was likely going to be the case. Well, we saw what happened in June, July, August into September and the price we paid for in this country."

"So I just come back to that again," he continued. "We still have at least 65 million Americans who could be vaccinated today based on the recommendations for vaccination, who are not. Many of these people have not previously had infection. And as I've pointed out time and time again, and I know you're tired hearing of this, but we have a lot of 'human wood' yet for this Coronavirus 'forest fire' to burn. So let's just start at that point right now, this surge we're seeing that is subsiding generally across the country. This is not the last of this virus in this country." Where is the serious surge activity now? Read on to see the six states—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.



Downtown Denver, Colorado, USA Drone Skyline Aerial Panorama

Case increase in past two weeks: 37%

"​​There are 964 Coloradans currently hospitalized and 744 of those hospitalizations are among people that are not vaccinated, Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) said in an update Wednesday afternoon," reports 9 News. "Does that mean that we would have no hospitalizations if everyone was vaccinated? No, but it wouldn't be anything close to a crisis," Polis said. "We are here because we have a crisis, a crisis of the unvaccinated." "Polis said that the state has seen elevated incidents of COVID in the last week and Colorado continues to have the highest level of hospitalizations since January."



Downtown of Minneapolis.Minnesota

Case increase in past two weeks: 29%

"The challenge of providing health care in many parts of Minnesota is simple but severe: Too many people remain unvaccinated, hospitals are short-staffed, and there is not enough space for those who are critically ill," reports MPR News. "There are no ICU beds to be had, and that's the scary part right now," said Dr. Ulrika Wigert to the news outlet, which said she " helps run CentraCare's hospital and clinic in Sauk Centre, less than an hour northwest of St. Cloud." "We need help," Wigert said, "and we need this surge to start coming down."

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A Moon rising over Detroit, Michigan

Case increase in past two weeks: 26%

"Michigan released a new set of COVID data this week that shows the delta surge is speeding up again and the state is heading into the winter months with higher case rates than last year," reports Click on Detroit. "Michigan's case rate is up to 304.4 cases per million people per day — up from 258.9 cases per million the previous week. Officials say Michigan is heading into the winter months and holiday season starting at higher case rates than last year. All counties in Michigan are categorized as being at a 'high' transmission level."

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North Dakota

North Dakota welcome sign along the highway at the state border

Case increase in past two weeks: 12%

"North Dakota reported 6 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, Oct. 13, as a surge driven by the highly infectious delta variant of the virus continues," reports the Grand Forks Herald. "Most of the rest of the United States has seen cases decline in recent weeks, but North Dakota's cases keep rising. The state ranks third nationally in cases per capita over the last week behind only Alaska and Wyoming. North Dakota's active cases increased by 92 over the previous day as the state nears 4,000 active infections."

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New Hampshire


Case increase in past two weeks: 12%

"Two more Granite Staters have died of COVID-19 as hospitalizations rose in New Hampshire," reports WMUR. "State health officials said the two New Hampshire residents who died were both age 60 or older. One of the deaths was associated with a long-term care facility. There have been 1,499 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in New Hampshire since the beginning of the pandemic. The deaths were announced as current hospitalizations rose by 12, to 142."



bar harbor maine

Case increase in past two weeks: 6%

"COVID-19 infections rise again in Maine with 799 new cases," reports the Press Herald. "The one-day spike is higher than recent trends, with Maine's seven-day average at 400 daily cases. Since the pandemic began, Maine has recorded 96,632 cases of COVID-19, and 1,088 deaths.The seven-day average of daily new cases stood at 400.4 on Thursday, down from 554.4 a week ago and 443.9 a month ago."

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How to Stay Safe in Your State

The female doctor syringe injection to the young patient put on a mask in the hospital

Osterholm says: "Why are we seeing this activity now? And just think about this whole last surge. Remember it started in the hot, hot South during the months of August. And it then expanded from there covering parts of the Northwest, making its way up the east coast. And now sitting here in these Northern states during the colder months, things are surely cooling down. There's no consistent pattern here whatsoever. There is no risk factor for being indoors, outdoors, whatever." So be careful—no matter where you are—get vaccinated, 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