Special Report

COVID-19: Eau Claire, WI Metro Area Among the Most Dangerous in America

The U.S. reported over 309,000 new cases of coronavirus over the seven days ending April 26, bringing the total count to more than 80.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 983,000 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 12.7 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans — essentially unchanged from the week prior, when there were an average of 10.1 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.

In the 50 largest metro areas, the incidence of COVID-19 grew at an average rate of 15.2 new cases a day per 100,000 residents in the past week — 25.7% greater than the case growth in all counties outside of metro areas.

The Eau Claire, WI metro area consists of Eau Claire County and Chippewa County. As of April 26, there were 29,374.1 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 Eau Claire residents, the 47th highest rate of all 383 metro areas with available data. For comparison, the U.S. has so far reported 24,838.9 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 Eau Claire metro area, Eau Claire County has the highest incidence of COVID-19 cases. As of April 26, there were 29,380.6 cases per 100,000 residents in Eau Claire County, the most of any county in Eau Claire, yet not too far from the county with the lowest incidence. In Chippewa County, there were 29,363.6 cases per 100,000 residents — the least of any county in Eau Claire.

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 Eau Claire metro area, unemployment peaked at 12.4% in April 2020. As of November 2021, the metro area’s unemployment rate was 2.7%.

To determine how the incidence of COVID-19 in the Eau Claire, WI 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 Wisconsin where COVID-19 is slowing (and where it’s still getting worse).

FIPS MSA Population Confirmed COVID-19 cases as of April 26 Confirmed COVID-19 cases as of April 26 per 100,000 residents Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of April 26 Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of April 26 per 100,000 residents
31540 Madison, WI 653,725 157,600 24,108.0 717 109.7
27500 Janesville-Beloit, WI 162,152 43,243 26,668.2 391 241.1
33340 Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI 1,575,223 444,618 28,225.7 3,903 247.8
43100 Sheboygan, WI 115,178 32,593 28,297.9 317 275.2
48140 Wausau-Weston, WI 163,140 46,430 28,460.2 637 390.5
39540 Racine, WI 195,602 56,603 28,937.8 688 351.7
29100 La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN 136,542 39,586 28,991.8 200 146.5
11540 Appleton, WI 235,628 69,128 29,337.8 526 223.2
20740 Eau Claire, WI 167,406 49,174 29,374.1 367 219.2
36780 Oshkosh-Neenah, WI 170,411 51,925 30,470.5 380 223.0
22540 Fond du Lac, WI 102,597 31,907 31,099.4 273 266.1
24580 Green Bay, WI 319,401 101,647 31,824.3 729 228.2

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.