The rate of new COVID-19 cases is at its lowest since last summer as the Omicron wave wanes.
As state governments have begun to overcome pandemic-era restrictions, some health experts have said a further spike is unlikely until at least fall and winter of this year, and hope the number of new cases will continue to fall throughout the summer will.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 95 percent of the country currently has low community rates of COVID-19.
While case numbers remain low across the country, a handful of states still show elevated levels of risk. Here are the five states with the highest new cases per 100,000:
Houses per 100,000: 26.2
Alaska currently has the highest rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the United States, according to the nonprofit The real-time case of Covid Act Now tracker. The positivity test rate is also the highest among US states.
However, hospital admissions in the state have remained relatively low at 4.3 per 100,000.
About 62 percent of the state’s population is fully vaccinated, while just over a quarter of residents have received a booster shot. This week, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services began updating its COVID-19 data dashboard once a week, instead of the usual three weekly updates.
Houses per 100,000: 24.3
While Vermont is among the states with the highest rates of COVID-19 cases, it is also in the top 5 states when it comes to vaccination rates. At 2.1 per 100,000, it is also among the lowest for hospitalizations.
According to the Vermont Department of HealthEighty-one percent of the state’s eligible population is fully vaccinated and nearly half of the more than 640,000 residents have received a booster dose.
Mike Pieciak, Vermont’s COVID modeler who has worked for the past two years, recently made a full return to his day-to-day work at the state Treasury Department.
“I think we’re in a place in Vermont — it really benefits from its high vaccination rate — where we can be pragmatic about the future,” Pieciak said Vermont Public Radio. “When cases are low, when hospital numbers are low, then society moves forward. And really, people are demanding that they live their lives the way they did before the pandemic.”
3) Rhode Island
Houses per 100,000: 20.3
Rhode Island, like its other New England states, has a high vaccination rate — the highest in the US, according to the COVID Act Now tracker. About 82 percent of the state’s population is fully vaccinated and about 43 percent is boosted.
The Ocean State’s hospitalization rate is also relatively at 4.5 per 100,000.
Houses per 100,000: 18.7
While Colorado’s rate of new COVID-19 cases is higher than many other states, its hospitalization rate has remained low, two points below the US average.
Last week, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced that was the case shut down 40 of its 150 community COVID-19 testing sites statewide as it moved to the White House’s “Test To Treat” initiative. Most test sites will close at the end of April.
The agency’s laboratory director, Emily Travanty, said, “We carefully considered community needs and capacity needs when determining the timeline for site closures.”
5) New York
Houses per 100,000: 18.5
New York currently has a hospitalization rate of 5.8 per 100,000, making it one of the top ten states with the highest hospitalization rates.
While the rate of new cases has remained relatively low, a slight increase has been seen in recent weeks, with the seven-day average positivity rate up about two percentage points since mid-March. The number of new cases per 100,000 has also doubled from around 8 to 18 in the same period.
As reported by the New York Times, a rise in cases in New York City may be driven by the proliferation of the “stealth” Omicron variant BA.2. Health experts have said the US is likely to see an increase in cases due to the BA.2 strain, although an increase like that caused by the Delta and Omicron variants is unlikely.