Special Report

COVID-19: This is the Least Dangerous County in the Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA Metro Area

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination efforts, the novel coronavirus continues to spread through the United States. To date, 32,167,970 Americans have been infected with the virus — and 572,987 have died as a result. On a per capita basis, the U.S. has one of the highest known infections rates in the world.

In the Des Moines-West Des Moines metropolitan area, located in Iowa, a total of 76,731 COVID-19 cases have been reported to date. Adjusted for population, there have been 12,099 reported infections for every 100,000 people in the area — above the national rate of 9,832 cases per 100,000 people.

Though per capita cases of COVID-19 are higher in Des Moines-West Des Moines than they are nationwide, some parts of the metro area are safer than others.

The broader Des Moines metro area comprises five counties or county equivalents — and of them, Madison County in Iowa has the fewest COVID-19 cases per capita. So far, there have been a total of 1,597 infections in Madison County, or 10,050 for every 100,000 people.

Not only does Madison County have the lowest per capita infection rate in the Des Moines metro area, it also has a relatively low per capita fatality rate.

There have been a total of 120 coronavirus-related deaths for every 100,000 people in Madison County, below the 134 COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 across the entire Des Moines-West Des Moines metro area.

All COVID-19 data used in this story are current as of May 6, 2021.

These are all the counties in Iowa where COVID-19 is slowing (and where it’s still getting worse).

Rank Geography COVID cases per 100,000 people Total cases Deaths per 100,000 people Total deaths
1 Madison County, IA 10,050 1,597 120 19
2 Guthrie County, IA 11,298 1,206 272 29
3 Warren County, IA 11,576 5,714 178 88
4 Polk County, IA 12,045 57,127 131 619
5 Dallas County, IA 13,198 11,087 115 97