Special Report

COVID-19: This is the Most Dangerous County in the Memphis, TN-MS-AR 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 24,034,500 reported cases of the virus nationwide — and that number is growing every day.

In the Memphis metropolitan area, which covers parts of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas, a total of 118,151 COVID-19 cases have been reported to date. Adjusted for population, there have been 8,778 reported infections for every 100,000 people in the area — above the national rate of 7,346 cases per 100,000 people.

The higher than average per capita COVID-19 infection rate across Memphis is being driven disproportionately by one area in particular.

The broader Memphis metro area comprises nine counties or county equivalents, which can include independent cities — and of them, Crittenden County has the most COVID-19 cases per capita. So far, there have been a total of 5,447 infections in Crittenden County, or 11,113 for every 100,000 people.

Not only does Crittenden County have the most COVID-19 infections per capita in the Memphis 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 184 coronavirus deaths for every 100,000 people in Crittenden County, compared to 127 COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 across the entire Memphis metro area.

All COVID-19 data used in this story is current as of Jan. 20, 2021.

Geography: COVID cases per 100,000 people: Total cases: Deaths per 100,000 people: Total deaths:
Crittenden County 11,113 5,447 184 90
Tipton County 10,201 6,268 106 65
Fayette County 10,131 4,021 128 51
Benton County 10,093 833 279 23
DeSoto County 9,840 17,331 106 186
Marshall County 9,716 3,477 193 69
Tate County 9,627 2,743 218 62
Tunica County 8,594 874 206 21
Shelby County 8,234 77,157 122 1,142

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