Special Report

COVID-19: Green Bay, WI Metro Area Among the Most Dangerous in America

The U.S. reported over 65,000 new cases of coronavirus on July 15, bringing the total count to more than 33.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 601,000 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 4.2 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans — essentially unchanged from the week prior, when there were an average of 3.5 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 Green Bay, WI metro area consists of Brown County, Oconto County, and Kewaunee County. As of July 15, there were 13,642.7 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 Green Bay residents, the 25th highest rate of all 383 metro areas with available data. For comparison, the U.S. has so far reported 10,359.8 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 Green Bay metro area, Brown County has the highest incidence of COVID-19 cases. As of July 15, there were 13,667.3 cases per 100,000 residents in Brown County, the most of any county in Green Bay, yet not too far from the county with the lowest incidence. In Kewaunee County, there were 13,390.9 cases per 100,000 residents — the least of any county in Green Bay.

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 Green Bay metro area, unemployment peaked at 13.3% in April 2020. As of May 2021, the metro area’s unemployment rate was 3.4%.

To determine how the incidence of COVID-19 in the Green Bay, 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 July 15 Confirmed COVID-19 cases as of July 15 per 100,000 residents Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of July 15 Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of July 15 per 100,000 residents
31540 Madison, WI 653,725 58,586 8,961.9 450 68.8
29100 La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN 136,542 15,307 11,210.5 106 77.6
27500 Janesville-Beloit, WI 162,152 18,400 11,347.4 209 128.9
20740 Eau Claire, WI 167,406 19,711 11,774.4 219 130.8
48140 Wausau-Weston, WI 163,140 19,729 12,093.3 324 198.6
33340 Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI 1,575,223 193,506 12,284.4 2,361 149.9
36780 Oshkosh-Neenah, WI 170,411 21,518 12,627.1 225 132.0
43100 Sheboygan, WI 115,178 14,837 12,881.8 168 145.9
11540 Appleton, WI 235,628 30,459 12,926.7 298 126.5
39540 Racine, WI 195,602 25,367 12,968.7 399 204.0
22540 Fond du Lac, WI 102,597 13,892 13,540.4 139 135.5
24580 Green Bay, WI 319,401 43,575 13,642.7 406 127.1