COVID Cases Are Skyrocketing in These 5 States

As confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. approach nearly 7.8 million, five states have reported a more than 50 percent increase in new infections over the latest two-week period, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

North Carolina, Tennessee, Montana, New Mexico and Vermont have each seen a rise in new infections in the past week, from the total reported the previous week.

The percentage increase for each state below was calculated by comparing new case numbers for the weeks of September 28-October 4 (week 1) and October 5-11 (week 2), according to JHU.


  • Week 1 (September 28 to October 4): 43 new cases.
  • Week 2 ( October 5 to 11): 83 new cases.
  • Increase from week 1 to week 2: 93 percent.
  • Total cases: 1,868.

While the average daily case count in Vermont statistically increased in the latest two-week period, the figure has remained flat from late April, after declining sharply from early April, when it peaked at 41 on April 6, according to JHU.


  • Week 1: 8,215 new cases.
  • Week 2: 13,507 new cases.
  • Increase: 64 percent.
  • Total cases: 214,717.

While average daily new infections in Tennessee saw a statistical rise in the latest 14-day period, the average count sharply declined from late July, when it peaked at 2,484 on July 29, according to JHU.


  • Week 1: 2,528 new cases.
  • Week 2: 4,067 new cases.
  • Increase: 61 percent.
  • Total cases: 18,702.

Average daily new cases in Montana rose on a sharp incline from early September, after flattening out for most of the outbreak. The average daily case count peaked at 671 on October 10, according to JHU.

North Carolina

  • Week 1: 8,930 new cases.
  • Week 2: 13,975 new cases.
  • Increase: 56 percent.
  • Total cases: 231,471.

The average daily case count in North Carolina rose sharply from late September through October, peaking at 2,126 on October 11, after declining from early July, according to JHU.

New Mexico

  • Week 1: 1,633 new cases.
  • Week 2: 2,506 new cases.
  • Increase: 53 percent.
  • Total cases: 32,983.

Average daily new cases in New Mexico rose on a sharp incline from early September, after dropping sharply from late July. The average count peaked at 407 on October 10, according to JHU.

Montana antimask protest coronavirus October 2020
People participate in a protest against wearing face masks outside the Gallatin County Public Health office on October 2 in Bozeman, Montana. The state is among five states that have each reported a more than 50 percent rise in new cases in the latest two-week period. William Campbell/Getty Images

The wider picture

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 37.5 million people across the globe, including over 7.7 million in the U.S., since it was first reported in Wuhan, China. Globally, more than a million have died following infection, while more than 26.1 million have reportedly recovered as of Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The graphic below, produced by Statista, illustrates a survey of U.S. adults concerned about catching COVID-19.

U.S. adults concerned about catching COVID-19

The graphic below, also provided by Statista, illustrates the spread of COVID-19 among U.S. states.

Spread of COVID-19 cases in U.S.