Special Report

COVID-19: How Cases in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metro Area Compare to Other Major Metros

The U.S. reported over 665,000 new cases of coronavirus over the seven days ending June 26, bringing the total count to more than 85.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 1,005,000 COVID-19-related deaths — the highest death toll of any country.

New cases continue to rise, albeit at a slowing rate. In the past week, there were an average of 26.4 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans — a decrease from the week prior, when there were an average of 32.0 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 29.3 new cases a day per 100,000 residents in the past week — 14.3% greater than the case growth in all counties outside of metro areas.

The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI metro area consists of Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, and 11 other counties. As of June 26, there were 24,968.8 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 Chicago residents, roughly in line with the national rate. For comparison, the U.S. has so far reported 26,532.2 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 Chicago-Naperville-Elgin metro area, unemployment peaked at 17.6% in April 2020. As of November 2021, the metro area’s unemployment rate was 5.6%.

To determine how the incidence of COVID-19 in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-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 Illinois where COVID-19 is slowing (and where it’s still getting worse).

FIPS MSA Population Confirmed COVID-19 cases as of June 26 Confirmed COVID-19 cases as of June 26 per 100,000 residents Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of June 26 Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of June 26 per 100,000 residents
19180 Danville, IL 77,563 29,347 37,836.3 297 382.9
16580 Champaign-Urbana, IL 226,323 75,627 33,415.5 312 137.9
16060 Carbondale-Marion, IL 137,573 45,123 32,799.3 415 301.7
14010 Bloomington, IL 172,578 55,531 32,177.3 301 174.4
44100 Springfield, IL 209,167 65,426 31,279.3 422 201.8
19500 Decatur, IL 105,528 32,658 30,947.2 348 329.8
40420 Rockford, IL 338,356 98,362 29,070.6 953 281.7
37900 Peoria, IL 406,883 117,705 28,928.5 1,316 323.4
28100 Kankakee, IL 110,637 30,724 27,770.1 372 336.2
16980 Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 9,508,605 2,374,187 24,968.8 24,617 258.9

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