The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Friday that about half of all US deaths have been reported in two states: New York and New Jersey.
The CDC’s numbers lag behind those maintained by other sources, such as Johns Hopkins University, but the agency on Friday released a detailed report outlining the geographic distribution of coronavirus in the US.
New York City has had the highest “cumulative incidence” of reported cases, with 915.3 cases per 100,000 people, according to the CDC. Minnesota had the lowest incidence, at 20.6 cases per 100,000 people.
Some context: A variety of factors could explain why some regions have more cases and deaths, the CDC said.
Differences in population density, age distribution and the prevalence of underlying medical conditions among Covid-19 patients could be factors, according to the agency.
The variation between regions could also reflect differences in when coronavirus was first introduced into a population. And the timing and extent of community mitigation measures could also be at play, according to the agency.
The CDC also said that differences in testing capacity – and public health reporting practices – could be factors.
The agency cautioned, however, that its report has limitations.
Case counts are likely “underestimated” because of incomplete detection of cases and delays in reporting, according to the CDC. And deaths are also likely to be underreported, the agency said, because people might die from the virus without receiving a Covid-19 diagnosis.