Coronavirus Tips – State by State COVID-19 Report Card & Hotspots List

by Miles Jackson

Coronavirus Tips – State by State COVID-19 Report Card & Hotspots List

If you are traveling, this state by state Coronavirus tips report card may help you avoid high-risk destinations.  Are you wondering who is doing the worst job in dealing with the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak?

With the majority of COVID-19 cases linked to travel, it is critical that travelers take the utmost caution to prevent spreading or getting infected with the coronavirus.

Let’s look at the current situation in many of America’s states.

Coronavirus Tips Report Card COVID-19 USA Map

Coronavirus COVID-19 USA Map

Coronavirus Tips Report Card: US States – by the Numbers (COVID-19 Cases)

398,185 Total Confirmed Cases in the United States

Top Ten States in Confirmed Cases
139,875           New York
44,416             New Jersey
18,970             Michigan
17,361              California
16,284             Louisiana
15,202             Massachusetts
14,853             Pennsylvania
14,747             Florida
13,553             Illinois
9,156               Georgia
Top Ten States in Least Number of Confirmed Cases*
213        Alaska
216        Wyoming
237        North Dakota
319        Montana
320        South Dakota
410        Hawaii
412        West Virginia
447        Nebraska
519        Maine
575        Vermont US

*Puerto Rico, a US Possession, would rank ninth, with only 573 cases, if it were included.

Statue of Liberty - Coronavirus Cases In USA

Coronavirus Tips Report Card: US States – Most Aggressive

Hawaii has to be at the top of my list for steps to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. This is led by the decision of the Hawaii Governor to Proclaim Visitors Not Welcome – Orders Tourists Into Quarantine. Furthermore, Governor Ige has ordered that inter-island travel requires 14-day self-quarantine. Statewide, Gov Ige has mandated “All persons within the State of Hawaii are ordered to stay at home or in their place of residence, such as hotels or condominiums. Individuals may leave only for essential activities or to engage in essential businesses and operations.” This places Hawaii at the top of my list of states doing the most to curb the Coronavirus.

Alaska’s governor has issued a series of mandates. The latest, ordering “all in-state travel between communities, whether resident, worker, or visitor, is prohibited unless travel is to support critical infrastructure, or for critical personal needs.” That is pretty aggressive. Alaska, being the largest state in area would seem to be easy for social distancing. In spite of that, cities, towns and villages of Alaska cover just over 2% of the state’s total land area. Yet, over 40% of the state’s total population resides in Anchorage; Alaska’s largest city.

New York, although it has reported the highest number of confirmed cases, teh state has taken an aggressive approach to enforce quarantines and lockdowns and requires social distancing. Unfortunately, the state is averaging more than 30,000 new reported cases daily. It is averaging 4.5 deaths per 100,000 confirmed cases.

New Jersey falls in third in our coronavirus tips report card of states that are aggressively fighting the COVID-19 pandemic with active steps to quarantine and enforce social distancing. New Jersey has more than 44,416 positive COVID-19 cases. In response, New Jersey’s Governor Murphy has ordered several steps to combat the spread of coronavirus. One extends the current public health emergency status by 30 days, while closing all state and county parks. Unfortunately, the governor has left the decision to close municipal parks to each individual municipality. That’s the type of response that makes NJ’s report card suffer. In addition, Governor Murphy has closed public schools indefinitely and canceled student assessments.

Coronavirus Tips Report Card: US States – Least Aggressive

While nearly 50% of Earth’s Population Is currently on lockdown, the confirmed cases of Coronavirus has exceeded one million and there are still governors who seem to be stuck with their heads in the sand.

Unfortunately, Americans are reading a lot of reports daily on how some states just don’t seem to ‘get it’ when it comes to prevention. Here are my top ten states that aren’t doing enough to #StopTheSpread of the Coronavirus. Travel should be avoided to these states simply because they aren’t doing enough to protect their citizens and visitors.

South Dakota

Coronavirus Tips Report Card: US States – Highest Risk to Visit

Crunching all of the numbers and placing relative values on the number of cases, prevention mandates and the deaths per 100,000 cases, here are the states I think travelers should avoid. This is my own opinion and not based on formal guidance from any agency. The list is subject to change based on the mentioned variables.

Coronavirus Tips Report Card COVID-19 USA Florida Beach

Crowded Florida Beaches


Only recently has Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis taking any significant action to counter the rising tide of reported cases in his state. Florida’s coronavirus cases kept swelling, especially in the densely populated cities of Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Florida hospitals pleaded for personal protection equipment donations from anyone who might be listening. DeSantis resisted the call for mandating quarantines and lockdowns. He had taken the stance that he did not want to dictate that all Floridians had to stay put in their homes. At the heart of the resistance was likely the fact that much of Florida’s economy (home to Disney World and Universal Studios) depends on tourism.

For too long, scenes of beachgoers on the shores of the most popular Florida spring break destinations have been shared across the internet. Compared to actions of the Hawaii governor, DeSantis’ lack of effort seems dangerous.

A poor show by the state puts Florida at the top of my list of states to avoid.


Michigan, and in particular the Detroit metropolitan area, has quickly become a hotspot for the virus. Now with close to 20,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the state was seen by many as slow to act.

Detroit has a large portion of its population that lives at or below the poverty line. As the city braces for what officials expect to be a surge in coronavirus cases, health experts warn that Detroit’s poverty rate and the declining health of its residents make the city especially vulnerable to the coronavirus disease. Even President Trump’s medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has expressed concerns about Detroit. The city stills suffers economically from the near collapse of the auto industry. Subsequently, it is home to a large population that suffers from obesity, diabetes, lack of clean water, and poverty. As a result, it is a prime candidate to become a hotspot for the COVID-19.

Those infected are likely to spread the virus as they often have less access to preventative equipment and typically are involved in more person-to-person contact throughout their day. Therefore, social distancing is not their normal practice.

Wayne County, where Detroit is located, has recorded more than 9,000 COVID-19 cases and 42 deaths. Given that the state’s major airport is located in that county, Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW,) should likely be avoided for travelers.


Texas has steadily added confirmed cases of COVID-19, now averaging close to 900 new cases daily. Texas has several major airports (DFW, IAH, AUS, SAT and HOU).

Texas is one of the most populous states, but has the distinction of also having a large population without health insurance. As a result, many potential confirmed cases of COVID-19 may go undetected and unreported. People who are commonly more accustomed to just dealing with their ailments may avoid seeking medical care. Coronavirus has the potential to spread faster and wider before detection methods catch the trend.

Texas also ranks as one of the lowest states when it comes to Total Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Per Capita. As a result, they are less financially prepared to deal with a pandemic.

For a lot of reasons, you may want to strike Texas off your list of places to visit in the near future. That puts the Lone Star State third on my list of coronavirus tips report card hotspots to avoid.

New York

Simply by the virtue of the concentration of the COVID-19 in the New York City area, you probably want to avoid travel through the city. As mentioned below, many airlines have dramatically cut back their flight schedules serving the city’s three major airports; JFK, LaGuardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR).

Coronavirus Realtime Updates

Deaths per 100,000 cases is an important barometer of the effectiveness of many state’s actions. There is a NPR site which attempts to illustrate when each state might see its peak of deaths. New York is projected to hit a peak of more than 15,000 deaths on April 9th. As a result, New York is the state expected to suffer the most deaths from the Coronavirus pandemic. No wonder that Delta, United and American Airlines are Slashing 90% of NYC Area Flights.

Google Maps COVID-19 DrillDown

Google has an interactive map where you can check confirmed cases and more by country. It even drills down to the lower borders. For example, here is the USA Map of COVID-19 cases:

Coronavirus Tips Report Card COVID-19 Google Maps USA

Then you can drill down to state and lower units…

Coronavirus Tips Report Card COVID-19 Google Maps USA Louisiana

That information will provide users with more information upon which to make travel decisions.Coronavirus Tips Report Card COVID-19 USA Intermission

As the sign expresses the sentiment…we’ll all be back traveling soon. 

The UpShot

First and foremost, don’t travel unless you truly need to! If you are required to travel for essential reasons, then consider the Coronavirus tips report card and your own research and any travel advisories to help you make an informed decision.

Click here for all the latest coronavirus updates and policies by airline as well as hotel, travel insurance, stimulus payment, plus our own expert advice posts.

Do you have any other tips to help make your fellow travelers safer during this situation? Please share them in the comments.

Stay safe and help #StopTheSpread

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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YGeorgeW April 8, 2020 - 9:27 am

As a Texas resident, I agree with you that there is a small, but significant portion of the population that is not respecting social distancing and the governmental response has been far from stellar, but . . .

“Texas has steadily added confirmed cases of COVID-19, now averaging close to 30,000 new cases daily.”

Do you mean 300 new cases? Texas has a total of 9,000 cases according to the Johns Hopkins tracker. 30,000 new cases daily would be roughly the national increase rate of late.

Miles Jackson April 8, 2020 - 5:15 pm

Thanks for catching that. I meant 900 cases daily and have updated the article.
Best wishes for you and your state.
Thanks for reading.


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