Coronavirus USA: are there any states with no Covid-19 cases?
New York and New Jersey have been hit hardest by Covid-19, while some less populated states remain relatively untouched but are there any coronavirus free areas?
US President Donald Trump presented a three-phase plan to reopen the country on 16 April, which essentially handed each individual state responsibility for deciding how and when to ease lockdown restrictions based on local numbers of coronavirus cases and the advice of medical experts. "A national shutdown is not a sustainable long-term solution," Trump said during a White House brieing.
While some states, such as Florida, have taken the president's annoucement to one extreme, others that have been harder hit by Covid-19 are anticipating a longer quarantine to stop the spread of the virus. In New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo has extended the lockdown until at least 15 May and Texas Governor Greg Abbott has made it clear that the US' second largest state will remain closed for business until it safe to reopen: "We want to open up, but we want to open up safely knowing that if we do it too fast, without the appropriate strategies, it will just lead to a potential closure because of another outbreak of Covid-19," Abbot said.
Elsewhere, lockdown measures have proven extremely unpopular. Residents of Michigan took to the streets in protest against state-wide restrictions on 16 April, leading Governor Gretchen Whitmer to note that the armed demonstrators may well have shot themselves in the foot by forcing an extension to the current lockdown by gathering en masse at the foot of Lansing Town Hall.
New York State, New Jersey and Connecticut alone have registered approximately 50 percent of all of all coronavirus cases in the US while other more sparsely populated states have barely been affected at all. Alaska, the largest US state, has registered just 314 cases (as of April 19), while Maine, Vermont, West Viriginia, Hawaii, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming have all recorded fewer than 1,000 cases overall on the same date.
Are there any coronavirus-free states in the US?
The quick answer is no. Wyoming has the fewest overall cases of all US states at 309 as of 19 April, but there is no single state that has remained untouched by the advance of Covid-19.
However, the US does have one coronavirus-free area - the unincorporated territory of American Samoa. The archipelago of seven islands in the South Pacific, with a population of around 55,000, has yet to record a single case of Covid-19.
Similarly, other US interests across the globe have also remained largely unscathed. Guam (organized territory) has recorded 136 cases; The United States Virgin Islands (unincorporated territory) has registered 53 and the Northern Mariana Islands (US commonwealth) has reported 14 cases.
At the time of writing, total cases in the US and all territories stood at 735,287, with 39,090 deaths caused by Covid-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.