I seem to have recalled an earlier CNN headline about COVID-19 'burning through the South', but it seems to have been changed to a less fraught headline about the virus 'starting to look really ominous in the South'. That being said, the COVID-19 map, once looking like a map of the Confederacy, isn't looking so great, even in the North. In New York, community transmission is high, so I've been wearing my mask while in stores and eateries. Across much of the US, the shortage of ICU beds is positively apocalyptic, especially given that we are still in the summer 'accident season'. States such as Texas, and Arkansas are desperate to receive out-of-state staffing aid, but, in the case of Texas, the governor has prohibited a mask mandate, a terrible policy which has been fought on the local level.
The vaccination rate map is not ideal, with states lagging in full vaccination also broadly corresponding to the Confederate States of America. Tengrain has a good rundown of this situation. With the carnage that COVID-19 is now wreaking on the South, the Delta variant should be renamed the Sherman variant.