Between the lines: The total number of cases is an important piece of the puzzle — but it’s only one piece.

The number of new cases will rise as a state performs more testing, so looking at this metric in isolation can give the false impression of a worsening outbreak.

Yes, but: Some of the states whose new cases are increasing in this analysis — including Arkansas, North Carolina and North Dakota — also fare poorly in a more holistic analysis that also accounts for other metrics.

Where it stands: South Dakota has made the most progress over the past week, cutting its new cases by over half.