One way to follow the evolution of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States is on a state-by-state basis. After all, each state has its own unique factors that influence higher or lower rates of viral spread relative to other states.
To better understand where the outbreak is currently spreading most quickly, the number of new positive cases over the past seven days is divided by each state's population. Adjusting for population helps put outbreak severity into a more informative relative context, since many news sources focus on absolute numbers which can bias coverage toward larger states.
To follow this metric, the chart below updates on a daily basis to measure the severity of each state's outbreak over the last week: