Special Report

COVID-19: How Cases in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA Metro Area Compare to Other Major Metros

The U.S. reported over 463,000 new cases of coronavirus over the seven days ending May 10, bringing the total count to more than 81.0 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 990,000 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 19.2 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans — essentially unchanged from the week prior, when there were an average of 15.6 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 22.2 new cases a day per 100,000 residents in the past week — 22.3% greater than the case growth in all counties outside of metro areas.

The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA metro area consists of Riverside County and San Bernardino County. As of May 10, there were 26,755.2 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 Riverside residents, roughly in line with the national rate. For comparison, the U.S. has so far reported 25,104.1 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 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metro area, San Bernardino County has the highest incidence of COVID-19 cases. As of May 10, there were 27,713.2 cases per 100,000 residents in San Bernardino County, the most of any county in Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, yet not too far from the county with the lowest incidence. In Riverside County, there were 25,901.3 cases per 100,000 residents — the least of any county in Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario.

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 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metro area, unemployment peaked at 15.5% in May 2020. As of November 2021, the metro area’s unemployment rate was 6.1%.

To determine how the incidence of COVID-19 in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 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 California where COVID-19 is slowing (and where it’s still getting worse).

FIPS MSA Population Confirmed COVID-19 cases as of May 10 Confirmed COVID-19 cases as of May 10 per 100,000 residents Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of May 10 Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of May 10 per 100,000 residents
41860 San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA 4,701,332 802,028 17,059.6 5,019 106.8
41940 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 1,987,846 351,609 17,687.9 2,385 120.0
17020 Chico, CA 225,817 40,010 17,717.9 421 186.4
42220 Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA 499,772 89,082 17,824.5 488 97.6
42100 Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA 273,962 51,834 18,920.1 262 95.6
40900 Sacramento-Roseville-Folsom, CA 2,315,980 454,461 19,622.8 4,166 179.9
34900 Napa, CA 139,623 27,571 19,746.7 143 102.4
46700 Vallejo, CA 441,829 88,711 20,078.1 450 101.8
42020 San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA 282,165 57,246 20,288.1 477 169.1
39820 Redding, CA 179,212 36,898 20,589.0 563 314.2
42200 Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA 444,829 92,178 20,722.1 692 155.6
41500 Salinas, CA 433,410 94,579 21,822.1 733 169.1
37100 Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA 847,263 184,928 21,826.5 1,491 176.0
49700 Yuba City, CA 172,469 40,059 23,226.8 347 201.2
44700 Stockton, CA 742,603 177,538 23,907.5 2,229 300.2
41740 San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA 3,316,073 818,936 24,696.0 5,244 158.1
33700 Modesto, CA 543,194 135,799 25,000.1 1,643 302.5
23420 Fresno, CA 984,521 256,677 26,071.3 2,754 279.7
31080 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 13,249,614 3,476,835 26,241.0 38,745 292.4
32900 Merced, CA 271,382 71,294 26,270.7 818 301.4
40140 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 4,560,470 1,220,161 26,755.2 13,773 302.0
12540 Bakersfield, CA 887,641 239,142 26,941.3 2,287 257.6
31460 Madera, CA 155,433 43,509 27,992.1 365 234.8
47300 Visalia, CA 461,898 135,924 29,427.3 1,468 317.8
25260 Hanford-Corcoran, CA 150,691 55,341 36,724.8 447 296.6
20940 El Centro, CA 180,701 66,624 36,869.7 917 507.5

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