Special Report

COVID-19: This is the Most Dangerous County in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH Metro Area

Though vaccine distribution is well underway across the United States, the novel coronavirus continues to spread through the population. To date, there have been 33,056,400 reported cases of the virus nationwide — and that number is growing every day.

In the Boston-Cambridge-Newton metropolitan area, which covers parts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, a total of 464,076 COVID-19 cases have been reported to date. Adjusted for population, there have been 9,645 reported infections for every 100,000 people in the area — in line with the national rate of 10,104 cases per 100,000 people.

Even though COVID-19 infections per capita are in line with the national average across Boston-Cambridge-Newton , there are parts of the metro area where this is not the case.

The broader Boston metro area comprises seven counties or county equivalents, which can include independent cities — and of them, Essex County has the most COVID-19 cases per capita. So far, there have been a total of 97,729 infections in Essex County, or 12,513 for every 100,000 people.

Not only does Essex County have the most COVID-19 infections per capita in the Boston area, it also has more deaths attributable to the virus per capita than the metro area as a whole. There have been a total of 307 coronavirus deaths for every 100,000 people in Essex County, compared to 241 COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 across the entire Boston-Cambridge-Newton metro area.

All COVID-19 data used in this story are current as of June 9, 2021.

These are all the counties in Massachusetts 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 Essex County, MA 12,513 97,729 307 2,394
2 Suffolk County, MA 11,735 92,917 233 1,842
3 Plymouth County, MA 9,608 49,205 281 1,439
4 Middlesex County, MA 8,468 135,081 236 3,767
5 Rockingham County, NH 7,961 24,290 86 262
6 Norfolk County, MA 7,863 54,902 257 1,795
7 Strafford County, NH 7,761 9,952 73 94