COVID-19 appears to be having a resurgence in several states. Just as cases in major cities appeared to be on the decline and plans were being made to lift lockdowns, states like Arizona, Florida, and Texas have seen a spike in new cases.

In Arizona, new cases of the novel coronavirus have gone up 200% in the last week, making it a potential new epicenter for the virus in the U.S. This recent spike has seen the state’s hospitalization rate and positive testing rate increase significantly.

A notable commonality between the state’s currently seeing surges in COVID-19 is that they were spared the worst of the outbreak when it first arrived in the U.S. and had a massive impact on places like New York City and New Jersey.

Now, despite these states instituting social distancing when they were relatively unaffected, the outbreak appears to have caught up with them. Health officials stress that these spikes are not the signs of a second wave, but rather more states experiencing their first major upswing.

Elsewhere, Arkansas and Florida have seen the most significant increase in new cases in the last two weeks, with the former spiking by 113% and the latter increasing by 87%. Arkansas also saw a 64% increase in hospitalizations in the last two weeks. Other major spikes have been reported in Utah, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

“North Carolina is not alone. Many other states are seeing increases in COVID-19 cases as well," Dr. Mandy Cohen, North Carolina’s state health secretary, said during a recent media briefing. “This virus is still a serious threat.”

“In the face of increasing numbers of case counts, the continued relaxation [of lockdown rules] will only provide more opportunity for community transmission,” William Hanage, a Harvard epidemiologist, told Vox. “The virus is getting highways along which to transmit.”

Johns Hopkins University reports that the U.S. has officially seen over 2 million confirms coronavirus cases and nearly 115,000 deaths.

Drivers in their vehicles wait in a long line at a coronavirus testing site in Los Angeles, California
Drivers in their vehicles wait in a long line at a coronavirus testing site in Los Angeles, California AFP / Frederic J. BROWN