Over the last few weeks, COVID-19 has gone from bad to worse in many states around the country. But, while coronavirus cases are on the rise in many states, especially in the western and southern parts of the country, there are some states where the number of cases remains flat or, for a few, actually decreases. According to the researchers behind the COVID Exit Strategy, a Harvard-based study that looks at a multitude of variables— such as ICU availability, testing targets, and new daily cases— and evaluates how efficiently (or not) each state manages coronavirus.
There are three categories: trending poorly, making progress, or trending better. There is some irony in the fact that the states that saw the early outbreaks and were the hottest hotspots in March and April are now “trending better.” But there are also states around the country that have effectively held the curve flat for the past four months. Read on to see which states are able to at least “make progress” in the battle against COVID-19 at the moment.
Connecticut is actually doing exceptionally well in the battle against COVID. On Sunday, July 5, there were zero new cases reported, which, according to The New York Times, continues a downward trend from double-digit cases in the weeks before. Connecticut is just one of the states that can report a downward trend and is the only one to do so and “trend better,” according to the COVID Exit Strategy.
2. New York
For a long time, the Empire State was the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, where daily coronavirus cases estimated at over 12,000 at the beginning of April. But as of July 5, the number declined by almost 96 percent to approximately 500 new cases, according to The New York Times. According to the COVID Exit Strategy, New York is another state that is “trending better.”
3. New Jersey
There is no doubt that the coronavirus hit the Garden State hard; more than 15,000 of its people have been killed by the disease. But now, according to the COVID Exit Strategy, the state sees just 36 new cases per 1 million people every day, making it the last of the “trend better” states.
Nebraska has seen less than 300 people fall to the deadly COVID-19 infection. And for the past week, the number of news cases has stayed unchanged at around 150 or so cases per day. While it’s not necessarily on the decline, there’s no increase either, which is why COVID Exit Strategy says it’s “making progress.”
5. South Dakota
Unlike other states, South Dakota had some ups and downs in controlling COVID-19. When a meatpacking plant in Sioux Falls had to shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the state made national news. However, since the maximum of new cases in the spring, the state has managed to reduce the number or, at least, has stopped it from increasing. At 62 new cases per 1 million people every day, the COVID Exit Strategy states that South Dakota is “making progress.”
Minnesota had a later increase in COVID cases than other states: May 24 was the state’s biggest day. But despite the protests and civil unrest that resulted from George Floyd ‘s murder in Minneapolis in late May, Minnesota has maintained a fairly flat number of about 500 new cases a day, according to The Times. COVID Exit Strategy takes into consideration that the state is “making progress,” with 66 new cases per 1 million residents each day.
7. West Virginia
Although cases are on the rise in West Virginia, the COVID Exit Strategy describes it as “making progress” as there are only about 35 new positive cases per 1 million residents every day.
According to the COVID Exit Strategy, Kentucky’s new coronavirus cases remain flat. 37 new cases per 1 million people a day are reported, but that is much better than the spikes nearby states are experiencing, which is why Kentucky is “making progress.”
9. Rhode Island
According to the COVID Exit Strategy, the number of new cases in Rhode Island is down by an incredible 10%. Additionally, the state’s testing is almost double its regular target. That’s why it’s one of the states that are still “making progress.”
On Sunday, July 5, Massachusetts confirmed only 136 new cases, which, according to The New York Times, continued a remarkable pattern of triple-digit cases in the weeks before. Taking into consideration that the new cases peaked at over 3.000 in April in Massachusetts, it is no surprise that the COVID Exit Strategy mentions the states “making progress.” There has been a remarkable 14 percent drop in new cases over the past two weeks.
Vermont is also on the list of “making progress” in large part due to the fact that, according to the COVID Exit Strategy, the state has just 11 new cases per 1 million citizens per day.
12. New Hampshire
New Hampshire, like its neighbor Vermont, is also on the list. According to the COVID Exit Strategy, there are currently 15 new cases per 1 million people each day in the state and the trend is heading downward, like Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Maine is also present on the list of states “making progress” since its COVID-19 rate is flat, according to the COVID Exit Strategy. The state sees only 24 new cases per 1 million people per day.
Although there is a slight increase in cases in Hawaii, according to the COVID Exit Strategy, the state reports just 13 new cases per 1 million residents on a regular basis, which puts it on the site’s “making progress” list.