Special Report

COVID-19: How Cases in the Gainesville, FL Metro Area Compare to Other Major Metros

The U.S. reported over 573,000 new cases of coronavirus over the seven days ending June 28, 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 at a steady rate. In the past week, there were an average of 27.2 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans — essentially unchanged from the week prior, when there were an average of 29.8 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 29.7 new cases a day per 100,000 residents in the past week — 12.7% greater than the case growth in all counties outside of metro areas.

The Gainesville, FL metro area consists of Alachua County, Levy County, and Gilchrist County. As of June 28, there were 27,483.4 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 Gainesville 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.

The incidence of coronavirus cases depends on a variety of factors and can vary even between neighboring counties. Within the Gainesville metro area, Alachua County has the highest incidence of COVID-19 cases. As of June 28, there were 27,753.2 cases per 100,000 residents in Alachua County, the most of any county in Gainesville, yet not too far from the county with the lowest incidence. In Gilchrist County, there were 26,168.3 cases per 100,000 residents — the least of any county in Gainesville.

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 Gainesville metro area, unemployment peaked at 9.2% in April 2020. As of November 2021, the metro area’s unemployment rate was 3.7%.

To determine how the incidence of COVID-19 in the Gainesville, FL 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 Florida where COVID-19 is slowing (and where it’s still getting worse).

FIPS MSA Population Confirmed COVID-19 cases as of June 28 Confirmed COVID-19 cases as of June 28 per 100,000 residents Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of June 28 Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of June 28 per 100,000 residents
45540 The Villages, FL 125,044 24,031 19,218.0 588 470.2
39460 Punta Gorda, FL 181,067 39,204 21,651.7 825 455.6
26140 Homosassa Springs, FL 145,169 31,839 21,932.4 988 680.6
42680 Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL 153,989 35,575 23,102.3 666 432.5
19660 Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL 646,288 150,959 23,357.9 2,382 368.6
38940 Port St. Lucie, FL 472,012 112,934 23,926.1 1,871 396.4
34940 Naples-Marco Island, FL 371,453 91,076 24,518.8 1,012 272.4
42700 Sebring-Avon Park, FL 103,437 25,424 24,579.2 694 670.9
36100 Ocala, FL 353,526 87,724 24,814.0 2,139 605.0
37340 Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL 585,507 146,634 25,043.9 2,156 368.2
35840 North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL 803,709 204,409 25,433.2 3,120 388.2
45300 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 3,097,859 812,644 26,232.4 10,317 333.0
18880 Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL 272,056 71,887 26,423.6 908 333.8
37460 Panama City, FL 182,161 48,314 26,522.7 832 456.7
23540 Gainesville, FL 323,799 88,991 27,483.4 942 290.9
37860 Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL 488,246 135,240 27,699.2 1,948 399.0
15980 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL 737,468 205,043 27,803.6 2,192 297.2
27260 Jacksonville, FL 1,503,574 425,488 28,298.4 5,325 354.2
36740 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 2,508,970 739,213 29,462.8 6,664 265.6
29460 Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL 686,218 214,932 31,321.2 3,024 440.7
45220 Tallahassee, FL 382,197 120,167 31,441.1 1,072 280.5
33100 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL 6,090,660 2,379,241 39,063.8 22,103 362.9

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