Special Report

COVID-19: How Cases in the Brownsville-Harlingen, TX Metro Area Compare to Other Major Metros

The U.S. reported over 562,000 new cases of coronavirus over the seven days ending May 15, bringing the total count to more than 81.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 991,000 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 22.7 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans — essentially unchanged from the week prior, when there were an average of 18.2 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 26.4 new cases a day per 100,000 residents in the past week — 23.3% greater than the case growth in all counties outside of metro areas.

The Brownsville-Harlingen, TX metro area consists of just Cameron County. As of May 15, there were 24,828.7 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 Brownsville residents, roughly in line with the national rate. For comparison, the U.S. has so far reported 25,214.1 cases per 100,000 Americans nationwide.

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 Brownsville-Harlingen metro area, unemployment peaked at 17.6% in April 2020. As of November 2021, the metro area’s unemployment rate was 7.8%.

To determine how the incidence of COVID-19 in the Brownsville-Harlingen, 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 May 15 Confirmed COVID-19 cases as of May 15 per 100,000 residents Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of May 15 Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of May 15 per 100,000 residents
29700 Laredo, TX 273,526 95,968 35,085.5 1,036 378.8
41660 San Angelo, TX 117,986 41,068 34,807.5 553 468.7
31180 Lubbock, TX 316,474 97,205 30,715.0 1,410 445.5
41700 San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 2,468,193 684,232 27,722.0 7,858 318.4
17780 College Station-Bryan, TX 258,029 70,395 27,281.8 555 215.1
18580 Corpus Christi, TX 428,548 111,117 25,928.7 1,835 428.2
21340 El Paso, TX 836,062 208,420 24,928.8 3,735 446.7
11100 Amarillo, TX 263,776 65,744 24,924.2 1,280 485.3
15180 Brownsville-Harlingen, TX 421,666 104,694 24,828.7 2,032 481.9
48660 Wichita Falls, TX 141,999 34,572 24,346.7 714 502.8
33260 Midland, TX 173,816 42,095 24,218.1 522 300.3
32580 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX 855,176 206,947 24,199.3 3,909 457.1
19100 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 7,320,663 1,761,309 24,059.4 18,755 256.2
47380 Waco, TX 268,361 64,076 23,876.8 967 360.3
36220 Odessa, TX 160,579 37,539 23,377.3 703 437.8
26420 Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 6,884,138 1,595,197 23,172.1 15,964 231.9
10180 Abilene, TX 170,669 39,151 22,939.7 890 521.5
45500 Texarkana, TX-AR 149,292 33,087 22,162.6 717 480.3
12420 Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX 2,114,441 459,006 21,708.1 3,583 169.5
43300 Sherman-Denison, TX 131,014 27,152 20,724.5 636 485.4
28660 Killeen-Temple, TX 444,716 90,416 20,331.2 1,201 270.1
47020 Victoria, TX 99,674 20,093 20,158.7 445 446.5
46340 Tyler, TX 227,449 45,571 20,035.7 968 425.6
30980 Longview, TX 284,796 55,387 19,448.0 1,330 467.0
13140 Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX 395,174 76,087 19,254.1 1,448 366.4

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