Three U.S. States Have a Higher COVID Infection Rate Than Any Country in the World

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.

Though the U.S. as a whole has had the most cases of COVID-19 of any country throughout the pandemic — more than 21 million, as of Jan. 6 — its per capita rate of infection is slightly lower, at the 10th-most in the world.

California in particular is struggling with a crushing number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. With 1 in 5 residents of Los Angeles County testing positive, ambulance workers in the area have been instructed not to transport patients who are unlikely to survive to hospitals due to a lack of space. As of Jan. 5, area hospitals have just 14 remaining ICU beds, according to L.A. County's Department of Public Health.

On Tuesday, the U.S. recorded the second-most COVID-19 deaths in one day of the entire pandemic, with 3,664. The Centers for Disease Control have said that COVID-19 was likely the third leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020, CNN reported.

"We still only have provisional data through December 26. We should be getting more data in very soon," CDC statisticians said. "To that point we estimate there were between 316,252 and 431,792 excess deaths in 2020. Our provisional death certificate data through that point show over 301,000 deaths involving COVID-19, which would likely place it 3rd among leading causes of death."

The two leading causes of death will likely be heart disease and cancer.

As of Jan. 5, more than 21,103,900 people in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 357,394 have died from the virus, The New York Times reported.

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