Three US States have worse coronavirus infection rates than any country in the world

Embed from Getty Images

Three US states, Arizona, Rhode Island and California, have the worst COVID infection rates in the world. This information comes over a year after the first reported case of COVID-19 and 10 months after the US began shutting down in an attempt to save lives. Several countries have managed the virus so well they’ve been able to resume everyday life. A few kept their death toll to single or double digits. And yet, three states in one of the most developed countries in the world are suffering more infections per capita than anywhere else on the globe. And there are absolutely no signs of it slowing down, despite knowing all the measures to stem it.

As new cases of COVID-19 continue to surge throughout the U.S., three states have a higher rate of per capita infections than any country in the world.

According to NBC News, Arizona, California and Rhode Island are currently outranking the rest of the world for COVID-19 infections. Arizona has the most of any state in the U.S. and any country, with 785 cases per 100,000 people over the last week. The small state of Rhode Island follows, with a rate of infection of 671 cases per 100,000 people.

The third-highest state is California, which is seeing 658 cases per 100,000 people. All three states have infection rates higher than the country with the most cases per capita: the Czech Republic, which had 653 cases per 100,000 people in the last week.

[From People]

I sound emotional and I am. These numbers are staggering, especially for a country that has developed not one but two of the approved vaccines. But I am dealing with some other numbers at present that are even harder to wrap my head around. Those numbers are: 1 in 4. That’s the rate in LA as of this writing. It just because statistically improbable for all four of my family members not contract the virus. That is even scarier because there is nowhere for us to go if we do. We are almost at 100% ICU capacity – and that’s across the board, not just COVID beds. EMTs have been told to ration oxygen because there isn’t enough for everyone. Ambulance drivers have been instructed not to transport patients who have “little chance of survival” while others are being turned away from ICUs when they arrive because the last bed was just booked. Our hospitals have moved in triage teams to determine who is savable and thus worth the resources. This virus is killing one Angeleno every 8 minutes on average. And remember, we are expecting our Christmas gatherings surge to hit right about now.

So hw does the US have these kinds of numbers all these months into the pandemic? How does California, a state that seemingly followed the directives of a conscientious, science-believing governor fall into this kind of tragedy? Exactly the way you’d suspect. It’s not just Cardi B and the Jenner-Kardashians having irresponsible parties, my neighbors on all sides have had several. There are people on my street that I’ve never seen with a mask on. All of these people attend church regularly, btw. Maybe they put them on for the service, I don’t know. But they have had multiple visitors in their homes and no visible masks. Kirk Cameron is the one covered in his absurd sing-alongs, but he wasn’t the only one there. Speaking solely for my area, people believe that they won’t get it just because they haven’t. And this new strand of the virus, although it doesn’t do more damage per se, is easier to contract. Stay safe, my friends. I don’t know what else to say at this point.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images


Photo credit: Getty Images and Engin Akyurt/Unsplash

Related stories

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

48 Responses to “Three US States have worse coronavirus infection rates than any country in the world”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Cassandra says:

    I’m betting Florida would be up in there if DeSantis wasn’t fudging our numbers

    • H says:

      THANK YOU! I stay in my house and do not leave unless I have to work and when I do I wear safety goggles and a mask. I have severe asthma, I cannot get this virus. Our governor is a moron. I like to call DeSantis’ office at least once a month to remind him of that. I’m sure I’m on a list someone. Rubio’s office hates me. :) (Oooh, that reminds me, I have to call Scott’s office to remind him he’s a seditious traitor for that vote after the siege of the Capital).

      My 35 y.o. niece started symptoms around Christmas. She’s been fairly good about wearing a mask, but her live-in bf has not and guess what? They got Covid. She’s recovering but her symptoms were much worse than his.

      In my area, full of retired folks, nearly half wear a mask, the other half don’t. We’re doomed in Floriduh.

  2. Tashiro says:

    This is devastating and so incredibly sad. How can people be so damn stupid? Do these people not see what’s around them? This puts so much more pressure on people like you who are doing all they can to be safe and stay healthy.

  3. Noodle says:

    I live in Huntington Beach, CA. On New Years, there was a maskless “Stop the Steal” protest on the pier. Our restaurants are supposed to be closed to indoor and outdoor dining and guess what!? They aren’t, and people aren’t wearing masks. One restaurant actually has an open anti-mask policy which means that if you show up in a mask, you will not be served. An acquaintance, whose husband was Covid positive and symptomatic on Christmas (he is a firefighter and every single one of his colleagues came down with it), went to a huge New Years party, unmasked. All of this is in deference to King Trump, as an eff you to science and common sense. I leave the house only to pick up groceries or prescriptions. My family does not leave our house unless to walk the empty neighborhood sidewalks.

    My dad, who was skeptical about Covid has lost four friends in a month. He’s not skeptical anymore. I’m afraid that is what it will take for them to come to their senses. People have to die en masse, and these morons have to lose someone close to them, probably an elder, for it to be real. It’s disgusting.

    • Jc says:

      Huntington Beach is definitely cancelled especially after voting for that MMA whatever to city council. It has become a MAGA haven and as a Southern Californian will not visit and spend money in the future.

      • Noodle says:

        Omg. Tito Ortiz is our Mayor. He is openly QAnon, and shows up to City Council meetings without a mask. Well, that’s when he actually shows up. He didn’t come to the second CC meeting, which he was supposed to officiate. I don’t know what happened to my little chill beach community. It’s insane.

  4. vertes says:

    I’m the bitch who points & tells people to “Pull up your mask!” when I see them in grocery stores / Costco / Walgreens with their masks hanging under their chins. They all do.

    • MM2 says:

      I gotta get your spirit in me, stat. I was helped by a man working a busy Wallgreen’s recently who had his mask pulled down so his nose was freely exposed. I bet he wears his condoms on his ball sack & calls that good too.

      • Sugar1221 says:

        Most people in the stores here go around wearing their masks with their noses exposed. It is ridiculous.

    • sassafras says:

      I just did this last night at Walmart. The guy was on a phone call and his son was masked, so I figured it was just thoughtlessness, but the 17 year old Walmart employee at the front door looked terrified to confront him so I stepped up. Just motioned toward my mask and mumbled something and he gave me a dirty look, dug one out of his pocket and put it on. It’s hard to do, but we’ve all known what to do for at least 6 months. No excuses.

    • Juls says:

      Same. My Grandpa passed a few weeks ago (not from Covid). When I took my dear Grandmother, whom is quite frail herself, to meet with the funeral home director, she took us in her office and had no mask on. I demanded she put one on. She had to GO OUT TO HER CAR TO GET ONE.

    • TeamAwesome says:

      At the car place the other day, the tech who came over to fill out my info came right up to my window, practically sticking his head in my car, with his mask pulled completely down. I recoiled back so fast and shot daggers at him, and he put it up. We’ve been wearing masks for nearly a year assholes. How do you forget????

    • Anna says:

      Me, too, but I’m actually scared for my safety. I’ve been yelled and cursed at, people argue. One woman came out after me from the front door of the building, yelling something about praying for me and Jesus blah blah blah. I was far enough away that I couldn’t quite hear everything but ffs, Jesus *for sure* would have been wearing a mask and he would not take kindly to her using his name to curse me out. Pray for what? For me? *I’m* wearing a mask! Sigh. What is wrong with these people. For awhile I was arguing back and even took pictures near my buildings entry when I could (including of building supervisor who has his mask down every time I see him) just so that I had a record and some legal recourse with the building management in case I got sick, but then I started getting scared of retaliation. I figure, at this point, the best I can do is focus on protecting myself completely and if I go overboard, wear the hazmat I managed to buy at one point, glasses or goggles, triple mask with charcoal filter, and a full face mask, spray everything I touch, all groceries, and my clothes…what more can I do? I’m just so, so tired, and as a Black person in this country after Wednesday and the ongoing state of things (since the inception of this country), I’m feeling very discouraged about why I’m even trying to stay alive when everything and everyone is saying it doesn’t matter.

      • Joanna says:

        What?! That’s awful! I can’t believe someone yelled at you for wearing a mask! Your life does matter, please don’t give up. Now that Democrats are running the country, I think things will get better.

  5. Heather H says:

    I live in AZ. We have a R governor who doesn’t care and frivolous people who think its either a hoax or nothing more then the flu or that social activity is more important. Its both a highly religious (mormon) area where I am and the state is still the wild west in a lot of ways. We have a neighbor we enjoy spending time with but they are risky and open to going out and attending events so we now stay away from them (one of them is 65 and has lost several friends in the first wave, I just don’t think she is thinking clearly)

    I’m staying in my bubble and hoping for the best. Our main concern is my husband’s parents in their 70s with high risk medical co-conditions. They are in our bubble (at their insistence) but we all try to do nothing more than groceries and see each other.

    • waitwhat says:

      Me too, Heather. And despite my being a hermit since last March I somehow got COVID. I just let my guard down at the wrong time, I suppose, and given our “wild west” mentality out here I came in contact with the wrong person. It was not a flu. Now I find myself trying to get past the fact that two close friends traveled over the holidays. So selfish.

  6. Emily says:

    1 in 4! That’s terrifying and so sad.

    I feel for all of the businesses closed and people who have lost their livelihoods in an effort to curb the virus while irresponsible people continue to have private gatherings, all while complaining about the lockdowns they’re perpetuating.

  7. Julia says:

    The current surge in cases makes it looks like there’s no end in sight… I live in London and I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever go out again before Spring – with the new Covid variant spreading to much faster, currently 1 in 30 Londoners have Coronavirus, and Sadiq Khan (the mayor) just had to declare a “major incident” as the hospitals are at risk of being overwhelemed.

  8. SamC says:

    I live in Rhode Island and it’s crazy. Two nurse neighbors have said part of it is we have a very high percentage of the population has been tested; it’s long been widely available, an easy process to schedule, and they’ve encouraged even asymptomatic people to test. Anecdotally, I cannot think of anyone I know who hasn’t had at least one COVID test at this point.

    RI age demographic trends older, and swaths of the population that would normally be snowbirds and head to Florida have opted to stay put for now. Unfortunately, I also know numerous people just in my little world who, despite being diligent with masks, social distancing, etc, for months on end, tossed caution to the wind and either travelled or did large holiday gatherings with family from other states and are back to continuing their normal routines without doing the suggested 10-14 day quarantine.

    On the plus side, we don’t have freezer trucks lined up outside morgues and, outside of Providence, hospitals are definitely busy but, also according to my nurse neighbors, not overflowing/overwhelmed.

    All that being said, if you don’t live in RI, please stay away for now. A big part of our summer numbers were all the tourists who figured since they were on vacation didn’t need to adhere to protocols. As an example, several summer ice cream shops and clam/lobster shacks opted to close and lose the revenue because tourists refused to mask and were abusive to the mostly young staff.

    • madameX says:

      Thanks for this analysis @SamC!

    • LightPurple says:

      RI is also very densely populated so people are pretty much on top of each other even when trying to distance. Most of the hospitals are large, acute care facilities so they’re better able to handle the situation than parts of the country with smaller facilities. I would also be curious to know whether the border hospitals in MA and CT are picking up overflow.

      • SamC says:

        Providence and adjacent towns are densely populated but the rest of the state really isn’t, especially off season (even with the pandemic residents); lots of rural and smaller towns. Nor are the hospitals, again, outside of Providence, large facilities (the one that serves most of southern RI has 100 beds). Southern MA hospitals may pick up some overflow because the “metro” Providence area is so close, or for northwest RI, it’s simply closer to get to a MA hospital. I’ve not heard CT is picking up any overflow; southern RI hospitals have picked up some CT patients from Mystic/New London.

    • amurph says:

      And RI schools are still in person. Raimondo shamed the districts that did go full DL in order to prevent any spike around the holidays. I know so many students who have gone away, had parties, and go out in groups with a number of people. It’s insane.

    • Wearamask says:

      I live in Southern RI. It’s not as bad here as the city, but for how long?
      People letting their kids get together with other kids inside, basketball is starting back up for the middle schools and high schools, in-person school, large parties dining together. Most people wear their masks in stores, but I often see them not being worn properly… And taken off as soon as possible. I even wear my mask when I go for a walk on the beach because so many people don’t. The walk right up next to you with no mask, because they think it’s safe outside. I’m scared.

  9. Veronica S. says:

    I figured California had to be one of them. They’re getting absolutely hammered right now. My friend who lives in LA hasn’t left her apartment in weeks. With Newsome, I’m not even sure there’s really that much more he could’ve done to stop this inevitability. Republicans were determined to make the blue states fail, and now their budgets are f*cked, there’s no money coming. What the hell are 40 million people supposed to do? Get evicted out onto the street and starve? No wonder so many governors gave up, especially with Republican led state senates who actively using the budget crises to pivot themselves for 2022 gubernatorial elections claiming it’s entirely the fault of those governors instead of an utterly negligent federal government. People burn out and stop caring when their governments state in every way possible that their lives don’t matter.

  10. Sunnee says:

    I’m so sorry to read this and I am frightened too. I live in Northern CA and haven’t seen my sisters in months. We had a drive by waving party for my nephews birthday back in May, i have been to my doctor who said that NoCal has very good rates because we have been following guidelines. I have not seen people without masks in months. We are hunkered down and quarantining. My husband and I have worked from home since February/ March. My adult children who returned home are not working, except for one. She wears two masks at work and her store allows only 2 people in at one time. We have lines outside grocery stores. Clerks are behind plexiglass and wear masks and face shields.
    Some stores check temps at the door and give out gloves. Most takeout restaurants are touchless, bringing your order to the door and walking away before you pick up. I’m scheduled to get the vaccine by the end of the month so I’m feeling optimistic, but yeah, it is scary. These people who refuse to wear masks are sending rates through the roof.

    • Kendeezy says:

      Hello there fellow Northern Californian! I think so far people have been pretty good up here except for the fact that my city is small but a total tourist trap. And I’ve noticed the only people I’ve had to yell at (and lost my voice doing so) were people from Arizona and Florida. And now we’re back in SIP and I’m unemployed once more. Not gonna lie, needed a break. But I will say us NorCal people seem to have a better grip on the reality that is Covid.

      • Bean says:

        I live in Berkeley and so far only one person I know has had COVID (she works at a care home and a fellow nurse brought it in). Everyone around here is sheltering and masking up when they go out. Northern CA seems to be taking it much more seriously than So Cal – but we have always been very different parts of the state.

  11. MrsRobinson says:

    I live in San Francisco (where lockdowns were early and strict) but over the summer went to dog-sit for my parents in Orange County. The difference in public behavior was shocking —no one was wearing masks (unless going into a store) and big groups of people were congregating at the beach, parks, etc. It was like a completely different state.
    Sadly, a family friend died last week of COVID in Orange County.

  12. MaryContrary says:

    I live in SoCal and disabled IG because I was so enraged by the numbers of people I saw (celebs and acquaintance/friends) who are still traveling and getting together like this doesn’t pertain to them.

  13. Queen Meghan’s Hand says:

    Part of the reason it is so bad in LA is because the mayor ordered the use of these Curative tests on asymptomatic people which is against FDA guidelines. Curatives has resulted in thousands of false negatives.

    This is just a complete systemic failure. I understand that Governors and Mayors feel the pressure to allow businesses to stay open because no funding is coming from the federal government and it is currently collapsing but to go against FDA guidelines and administer a test that gives false negatives most of the time?? Why? The city awarded this company a big contract, money that could have gone directly to people to stay home and feed themselves. This whole debacle has shown me that nearly all of the men who hold political office have an utter contempt for the American people.

  14. Leah says:

    My city (Los Angeles) is suffering terribly with 0 icu beds. It’s really no surprise because whenever I get a chance to go out there’s always someone without a mask. The covid fatigue has replaced the vigilance of March. I stay in my apt 24-7 when I don’t go out for groceries/mail/drop trash off, if I get a delivery I have to put on a mask because the hallway doesn’t have adequate ventilation. It never did, in the summers it’s intolerable.

    My mask is a five layer that I wear with non fog goggles that look like a pair of reading glasses. Bought a pair for my mother too. She’s 86 and has a heart issue like I do. She’s in my bubble but doesn’t live with me.

  15. Curious2 says:

    I appreciate your concern. I wonder why it’s so bad- mostly because every state is dealing with parties, ppl not wearing masks, traveling, church goers, etc.

  16. Emily says:

    Well Rhode Island is also super small and is one of the most densely populated states in the country (population a little over 1 million), so I feel like those numbers are super skewed?

    I literally just got a text from a close friend this morning announcing to me she and her partner both tested positive for COVID. They have traveled quite a lot this year, including one cross-country road trip (I was surprised they managed to stay COVID free during the entirety of it). They chose to fly to another state for Christmas to go skiing and stay with friends and they tested positive after the trip. She doesn’t think they were exposed while staying with friends because supposedly all their friends tested negative after they left, but how can you really know? The testing isn’t 100% foolproof and we know that. I think she thought they were staying safe because they wear masks everywhere, they get tested before and after each trip, and they also quarantine before and after each trip. So they may have gotten exposed on their flight back from their trip or in their apartment building. Who knows. But I think it just goes to show if you insist on taking risks like that, you will eventually get it.

    • Jenn says:

      So the thing about swab tests, molecular and antigen both, is that, yes, they can tell you with absolute certainty that you’re positive — there is almost zero margin of error with a “positive” result — but a negative test result doesn’t really mean anything, speaking practically. Early in the pandemic, Johns Hopkins studied the efficacy of swabs, and they estimated that the rate of false negatives is 30%, and that’s in the “best” of testing circumstances — that is, when the person being swabbed does have symptoms, and at least 8 days have passed since symptoms’ onset. (This is why people can test repeatedly and keep getting negative test results, and then finally get a positive once they’re recovering.) According to an article by Harvard Health I was reading last night, the rate of false negatives is actually “100%” if you go in for a swab immediately after you think you were exposed. All of this is to say: A swab test can never tell you whether you’re contagious WHILE you are contagious — only afterward.

      I have tried to impress this info upon my friends and family, who know I have multiple conditions that are each considered high-risk, but who are under the impression that a negative swab means that it’s safe to drop by my house. The FDA actually just issued a warning to the US congress about this very thing — that swabs are for confirming Covid in symptomatic patients, so they aren’t really a reliable measure of how safe it may be to congregate — and now congresspeople are upset with the test provider for “letting them” run around while contagious. (It’s in the news, and people in LA County are panic-sharing the article with one another, having only just learned of the huge margin of error there is with swabs.)

      It makes me angry that none of this has been stressed by any of our government agencies to an anxious public, who have indeed been using negative swabs to determine whether to gather. The only way to ensure absolute safety to all, is to quarantine for 10 full days before meeting with anyone else.

      • McGee says:

        I’m beginning to realize that folks have to WANT to learn that information about swabs and detection efficacy.

        I’m seeing so many in my community, including family and friends (sadly, some now former-friends) who are utterly blasé and refuse to acknowledge the problems in depending on testing as some kind of “fast pass,” EVEN WHEN YOU TELL THEM AND SHARE THE ARTICLES AND DATA. They would rather act like they didn’t know because they can award themselves the “exception” to do what they want. I’m soooo tirrrrred of the “oh, but we stay really safe.” BBQs, trips? No, no you don’t

  17. Phyllis says:

    I’ve been telling my out-of-state family this for a long time, but California isn’t as liberal as it seems. The Central Valley, NorCal, and plenty of communities in SoCal are very conservative. And don’t forget, we elected Schwarzenegger and sent the world Reagan. As heartbreaking as it is, California’s numbers aren’t surprising to me.

    • sassafras says:

      I think the conservatives in CA wanted this.
      My dad is a conservative Fox watcher but a Covid-believer asked me why CA, a state with stricter lockdowns is having worse numbers than FL, a state with none.

      He looked genuinely surprised as I raised the point that just because there are lockdowns and rules doesn’t mean people are following them and FL just might have more seniors who are taking it seriously, like him, and voluntarily doing the right thing.

      I think FOX news is trying to use CA to say that rules/lockdowns obviously don’t work, but not pointing out that COMPLIANCE with rules/lockdowns is the thing that makes rules/lockdowns work.

  18. Case says:

    Interstate travel should be banned. Domestic flights should be cancelled except for essential travel. Churches should be shut down. Indoor dining should be shut down. Non-essential stores should be closed. Offices should be ordered to close. This is INCREDIBLY serious and it feels like nothing is being done anymore. I PRAY (and I don’t pray!) that Biden will institute some strict rules to get us through the rest of the winter, because this is not sustainable.

    • Andrea says:

      Interstate travel is hard to enforce unless you put state troopers blocking state lines.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Case, the Supreme Court didn’t let the Governor of Pennsylvania close churches. That’s a huge mistake. In Washington State, our religious leaders were willing to close in order to stop the spread of the virus. But one did hold a choir rehearsal–following the guidelines. And, there was a covid out break. Since then, they’ve been on board with whatever rules they need to follow. Fortunately, our governor is a big believer in science, so he took this seriously from the first. Businesses have been hit hard. They’ve not been able to fully open yet since March. I think a lot of people are trying to do business with them (curbside pickup, etc.) in the hope they stay open. I can’t wait until Biden is in office so that the states can get money. Trump and the republicans are responsible for so much during this pandemic.

  19. Willow says:

    Where we are everyone wears mask in public. But that’s it! There is still the same amount of traffic, all businesses are open, same number of people in stores, social events are still held (but ‘mask-safe’). People get together with small groups of friends without masks trusting that those are the only maskless people they all associate with. The rising infection rates say that’s a lie. And everyone still travels! People seem to think masks are the holy grail. ‘I put on a mask and then it’s safe to do whatever the heck I want’. Who cares what the scientists say. And the numbers in our state keep rising. They have this color-coded infection map. All counties were red last week. Today 3 counties are orange. Maybe schools won’t reopen from Christmas break. Now parents are protesting because that means school sports will delayed. It’s so infuriating!! This has been my covid rant. Thanks for giving me a safe place to vent.

    • LeftCoastal says:

      + 1,000. I live in L.A. (mid-city area) and everyone wears masks, but when I walk outside with my dog, traffic is like nothing has changed. Where are all these people going? I am fortunate to be able to work from home, and I work (at least I thought so) with smart, savvy, thoughtful people. We have a team meeting every morning and there are 3 people team members (possibly more) who are still traveling for pleasure. One woman went to Alaska for New Year’s, another one is taking next week off to go skiing AND she’s been to FLORIDA at least 3 times since the pandemic started. And I know that they fully support wearing masks, believe in science and vaccines, and yet … there’s some kind of unfathomable disconnect. I can’t wrap my head around it. We will never get control of this if we leave it to people to take personal responsibility. SHUT EVERYTHING DOWN.

  20. Miss V says:

    Uggghh. As a teacher, about to go back to school in RI…. this is terrifying to me.

  21. L84Tea says:

    I just got my 2nd dose of the vaccine 3 hours ago.

  22. Christine says:

    I live in LA proper, and I am so frustrated and sad. My son turns 11 today, and I can count on both hands how many times he has left the house since March 12, when his school closed in-person classes, and they haven’t resumed. We are closing in on a YEAR of a now 11 year old not leaving his house. Zero visits with friends, no trips to stores, it is no way for an 11 year old to live, but that is just the point, he is alive. I’m furious that an 11 year old is more responsible than grown adults who have made this last year a nightmare in LA. I’m just so tired.

  23. OK says:

    The bible got it wrong. The love of money is not the root of all evil. Selfishness is the root of all evil.

  24. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    We in the US must put more pressure on our legislators- The American Society for Microbiology penned a press release in Nov 2020 about how MMR boosters were effective in raising IgG to help fight covid (got my booster at CVS two days ago). You can find it with a simple search.

    Likewise there is impassioned video testimony of Dr. Pierre Kory imploring Congress to read all the literature on Ivermectin (an old anti-helminth, readily available, cheap to produce, with a decades long safety profile) and allow the CDC/FDA to move forward for compassionate use as another effective PREVENTIVE. Easy to find it in a search.

    I’d encourage all to avail yourselves of this info and harass your congresscritters thoroughly.

    Help is out there, it’s just that Big Pharma doesn’t care about these safe, available and inexpensive adjuvant therapies. Doesn’t produce as much revenue as biologics, and the senators would lose big donors.