As the Delta variant continues to spread across the U.S., states that have lower vaccination rates are seeing their infection rate rise faster and at a more alarming level than those states that are on pace with their inoculations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that 83% of all new COVID infections are made up of the Delta variant, which was first detected in India. In May, the CDC deemed the Delta strain of COVID a “variant of concern” and said in June that it is now the dominant variant in the U.S. as it was identified in all 50 states.

Jeff Zients, the head of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus task force, said on Friday in a news briefing that there are several states of concern in the U.S. as he mentioned Florida, Texas, and Missouri. He went on to say that Florida is accounting for 1 in 5 cases of all new COVID cases in the U.S. for the second week in a row.

According to the nonprofit initiative Surgo Ventures, the highest concentration of COVID cases are confined to seven states – Georgia, Texas, Missouri, Tennessee, South Dakota, Arkansas, and Florida. But within these states, 20 counties are considered “Delta Danger Zones” because of their high risk of COVID infections, according to Surgo’s latest report.

Surgo said it has found a correlation between these counties, which are “vulnerable to the health and socioeconomic consequences of COVID-19,” have limited access to the COVID vaccine, and are now being hit by the Delta variant of the virus.

By combining data from its COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index and COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage Index with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data as of July 19, the organization was able to determine that these 20 counties are “Delta Danger Zones.”

In order from most dangerous to least dangerous, here are the counties that Surgo has revealed are in the “Delta Danger Zones” of the U.S.

  1. Charlton, Georgia
  2. Newton, Texas
  3. Pemiscot, Missouri
  4. McDonald, Missouri (tie with Grundy)
  5. Grundy, Tennessee (tie with McDonald)
  6. Ziebach, South Dakota
  7. Hempstead, Arkansas
  8. Ripley, Missouri
  9. Lanier, Georgia
  10. Motley, Texas
  11. Baker, Florida
  12. Telfair, Georgia
  13. Heard, Georgia
  14. Holmes, Florida
  15. Washington, Florida
  16. Carter, Missouri
  17. Jeff Davis, Georgia
  18. Texas, Missouri
  19. Treutlen, Georgia
  20. Bacon, Georgia

“We believe these 20 counties are Delta danger zones, which means they represent the strongest convergence of COVID-19 vulnerability, underlying community barriers to vaccine uptake, and low vaccination rates of all counties in the United States at this point in time,” Dr. Sema Sgaier, co-founder and CEO of Surgo Ventures and adjunct assistant professor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in a statement.

Surgo warns that these 20 counties need “immediate attention” as the Delta variant spreads rapidly in these regions as COVID infections spike.

man wearing mask during coronavirus pandemic A man is seen wearing a face mask during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: fernandozhiminaicela - Pixabay