Special Report

COVID-19: Amarillo, TX Metro Area Among the Most Dangerous in America

Michael Ciaglo / Getty Images News via Getty Images

The U.S. reported over 41,000 new cases of coronavirus on June 23, bringing the total count to more than 33.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 596,000 COVID-19-related deaths — the highest death toll of any country.

New cases continue to rise at a steady rate. In the past week, there were an average of 3.0 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans — essentially unchanged from the week prior, when there were an average of 4.7 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.

While new data shows that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is high in almost every part of the country, cities continue to be the sites of major outbreaks and superspreader events. Experts agree that the virus is more likely to spread in group settings where large numbers of people routinely have close contact with one another, such as colleges, nursing homes, bars, and restaurants. Metropolitan areas with a high degree of connectivity between different neighborhoods and a large population may be particularly at-risk.

The Amarillo, TX metro area consists of Randall County, Potter County, Carson County, and two other counties. As of June 23, there were 13,530.8 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 Amarillo residents, the 26th highest rate of all 383 metro areas with available data. For comparison, the U.S. has so far reported 10,286.9 cases per 100,000 Americans nationwide.

The incidence of coronavirus cases depends on a variety of factors and can vary even between neighboring counties. Within the Amarillo metro area, Potter County has the highest incidence of COVID-19 cases. As of June 23, there were 14,711.6 cases per 100,000 residents in Potter County, the most of any county in Amarillo, and far greater than the county with the lowest incidence. In Carson County, there were 9,901.8 cases per 100,000 residents — the least of any county in Amarillo.

In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, city and county governments have ordered the closure of thousands of consumer-facing businesses. These measures have led to widespread job loss and record unemployment. In the Amarillo metro area, unemployment peaked at 9.2% in April 2020. As of April 2021, the metro area’s unemployment rate was 4.2%.

To determine how the incidence of COVID-19 in the Amarillo, TX metro area compares to the rest of the country, 24/7 Wall St. compiled and reviewed data from state and local health departments. We ranked metro areas based on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.To estimate the incidence of COVID-19 at the metropolitan level, we aggregated data from the county level using boundary definitions from the U.S. Census Bureau. Population data used to adjust case and death totals came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey and are five-year estimates. Unemployment data is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is seasonally adjusted.

These are all the counties in Texas where COVID-19 is slowing (and where it’s still getting worse).

FIPS MSA Population Confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Jun. 23 Confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Jun. 23 per 100,000 residents Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of Jun. 23 Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of Jun. 23 per 100,000 residents
28660 Killeen-Temple, TX 444,716 34,461 7,749.0 562 126.4
12420 Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX 2,114,441 167,745 7,933.3 1,974 93.4
30980 Longview, TX 284,796 23,928 8,401.8 656 230.3
43300 Sherman-Denison, TX 131,014 11,374 8,681.5 345 263.3
45500 Texarkana, TX-AR 149,292 13,017 8,719.2 304 203.6
13140 Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX 395,174 34,661 8,771.1 705 178.4
46340 Tyler, TX 227,449 20,645 9,076.8 486 213.7
26420 Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 6,884,138 627,125 9,109.7 9,118 132.4
47020 Victoria, TX 99,674 9,721 9,752.8 238 238.8
15180 Brownsville-Harlingen, TX 421,666 41,867 9,928.9 1,647 390.6
33260 Midland, TX 173,816 18,420 10,597.4 292 168.0
32580 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX 855,176 92,525 10,819.4 2,898 338.9
36220 Odessa, TX 160,579 17,494 10,894.3 377 234.8
41700 San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 2,468,193 272,362 11,034.9 4,566 185.0
47380 Waco, TX 268,361 29,822 11,112.6 511 190.4
18580 Corpus Christi, TX 428,548 48,285 11,267.1 989 230.8
48660 Wichita Falls, TX 141,999 16,238 11,435.3 397 279.6
19100 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 7,320,663 838,545 11,454.5 10,886 148.7
10180 Abilene, TX 170,669 19,720 11,554.5 510 298.8
17780 College Station-Bryan, TX 258,029 32,541 12,611.4 350 135.6
11100 Amarillo, TX 263,776 35,691 13,530.8 772 292.7
41660 San Angelo, TX 117,986 16,927 14,346.6 272 230.5
31180 Lubbock, TX 316,474 50,833 16,062.3 849 268.3
21340 El Paso, TX 836,062 136,440 16,319.4 2,729 326.4
29700 Laredo, TX 273,526 46,808 17,112.8 795 290.6

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