Special Report

COVID-19: How Cases in the Sioux City, IA-NE-SD 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 Sioux City, IA-NE-SD metro area consists of Woodbury County, Dakota County, Union County, and one other county. As of May 10, there were 28,426.2 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 Sioux City residents, 13.2% higher than 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 Sioux City metro area, Dakota County has the highest incidence of COVID-19 cases. As of May 10, there were 33,921.6 cases per 100,000 residents in Dakota County, the most of any county in Sioux City, and far greater than the county with the lowest incidence. In Dixon County, there were 21,070.1 cases per 100,000 residents — the least of any county in Sioux City.

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 Sioux City metro area, unemployment peaked at 9.8% in April 2020. As of November 2021, the metro area’s unemployment rate was 3.0%.

To determine how the incidence of COVID-19 in the Sioux City, IA-NE-SD 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 Iowa 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
11180 Ames, IA 123,311 25,401 20,599.1 144 116.8
16300 Cedar Rapids, IA 270,056 64,326 23,819.5 731 270.7
26980 Iowa City, IA 170,677 40,704 23,848.6 231 135.3
19340 Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL 381,175 91,698 24,056.7 1,042 273.4
47940 Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA 169,556 41,121 24,252.2 605 356.8
19780 Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA 680,439 175,668 25,816.9 1,576 231.6
20220 Dubuque, IA 96,982 26,176 26,990.6 294 303.1
43580 Sioux City, IA-NE-SD 143,846 40,890 28,426.2 473 328.8

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