Special Report

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

The U.S. reported over 1,325,000 new cases of coronavirus over the seven days ending September 14, bringing the total count to more than 40.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 655,000 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 46.1 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans — essentially unchanged from the week prior, when there were an average of 47.0 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.

The Peoria, IL metro area consists of Peoria County, Tazewell County, Woodford County, and three other counties. As of September 14, there were 13,948.2 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 Peoria residents, 10.4% higher than the national rate. For comparison, the U.S. has so far reported 12,636.9 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 Peoria metro area, Tazewell County has the highest incidence of COVID-19 cases. As of September 14, there were 14,464.5 cases per 100,000 residents in Tazewell County, the most of any county in Peoria, and far greater than the county with the lowest incidence. In Marshall County, there were 11,148.2 cases per 100,000 residents — the least of any county in Peoria.

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 Peoria metro area, unemployment peaked at 18.9% in April 2020. As of May 2021, the metro area’s unemployment rate was 6.5%.

To determine how the incidence of COVID-19 in the Peoria, IL 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 September 14 Confirmed COVID-19 cases as of September 14 per 100,000 residents Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of September 14 Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of September 14 per 100,000 residents
19180 Danville, IL 77,563 12,545 16,173.9 175 225.6
16060 Carbondale-Marion, IL 137,573 20,109 14,617.0 242 175.9
28100 Kankakee, IL 110,637 16,149 14,596.4 230 207.9
37900 Peoria, IL 406,883 56,753 13,948.2 887 218.0
40420 Rockford, IL 338,356 45,460 13,435.6 617 182.4
19500 Decatur, IL 105,528 13,779 13,057.2 225 213.2
14010 Bloomington, IL 172,578 21,155 12,258.2 203 117.6
44100 Springfield, IL 209,167 25,147 12,022.5 270 129.1
16580 Champaign-Urbana, IL 226,323 27,043 11,948.9 192 84.8
16980 Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 9,508,605 1,104,773 11,618.7 17,625 185.4