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Visualizing the Growth of COVID-19 in the U.S., Organized by State Peak Date

The exponential nature of viral spread means that pandemics are fast-moving and dynamic.

Combine this with the high interconnectedness of modern life—even when social distancing and lockdowns are applied—and pandemics can evolve quickly. In just a few weeks, previous hotspots can cool down, while new high risk areas can crop up seemingly out of nowhere.

In the United States, like many other places in the world, the virus is hitting regions differently, and this landscape is constantly changing over time.

COVID-19 Growth, by State

Today’s first visualization comes to us from Reddit user bgregory98, and it uses data from the New York Times to plot confirmed active COVID-19 cases by state.

States are organized by the date that weekly average cases peaked, from top to bottom. Data is normalized and is current until June 16th, and states are colored based on regional definitions (i.e. Northeast, Midwest, West, South) as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Although one would expect peak deaths to follow peak cases, this is not always the case.

Peak deaths in Nevada, for example, occurred on April 24th, but peak cases have been in the last week. This same peculiar pattern can be seen in a variety of states, from California to Oklahoma.

Mapped: The Evolution of COVID-19 in the U.S.

As the pandemic spreads and the situation has evolved, the mean center of weekly COVID-19 cases has been moving in a southwest direction.

The following map, which also comes from Reddit user bgregory98, averages the center coordinates of all counties weighted by how many new confirmed cases they have had over the past week:….[    ]

What do you think?

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