Special Report

These Are the Counties In the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA Metro Area Where COVID-19 Is Growing the Slowest

After adding over 700,000 new cases throughout the last week, the U.S. now has more than 48.9 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 780,000 COVID-19-related deaths — the highest death toll of any country.

New cases continue to rise at a faster rate. In the past week, there were an average of 1,508.3 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans — an increase from the week prior, when there were an average of 0.8 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.

While COVID-19 has spread to nearly every part of the country, cities continue to be the sites of major outbreaks. 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.

The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA, metro area consists of Fulton County, Gwinnett County, DeKalb County, and 26 other counties. In the past week, there were an average of 0.3 new coronavirus cases every day per 100,000 Atlanta residents, less than the national figure. The metro area’s average daily case growth in the most recent week is essentially unchanged from the week prior, when there were an average of 0.3 daily new cases per 100,000 Atlanta residents.

The spread of coronavirus depends on a variety of factors and can vary even between neighboring counties. Within the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta metro area, COVID-19 is growing the slowest in Fayette County. There were an average of 1,202.6 new cases per day per 100,000 residents in Fayette County during the past week, the least of the 29 counties in Atlanta with available data.

Case growth in the Atlanta metro area varies at the county level. In Bartow County, for example, there were an average of 2,058.9 new cases per day per 100,000 residents in the past week — the most of any county in Atlanta and more than the case growth rate in Fayette County.

Just as Fayette County has the slowest case growth in the Atlanta area, it also has the lowest incidence of cases overall. As of December 9, there were a total of 12,106.5 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents in Fayette County, the fewest of the 29 counties in the metro area. For comparison, the U.S. has so far reported 15,085.6 cases per 100,000 Americans nationwide.

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 Fayette County, unemployment peaked at 10.3% in April 2020. As of June 2021, the county’s unemployment rate was 3.3%.

To determine the county in every metropolitan area where COVID-19 is growing the slowest, 24/7 Wall St. compiled and reviewed data from state and local health departments. We ranked counties according to the average number of new daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the seven days ending December 9. 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 not seasonally adjusted.

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

Rank in MSA County Population New daily cases per 100,000, week ending December 9 New daily cases per 100,000, week ending December 2 Cumulative cases per 100,000 Cumulative deaths per 100,000
1 Fayette County 112,303 1,202.6 0.3 12,106.5 219.1
2 Heard County 11,736 1,203.1 0.2 12,755.6 357.9
3 Rockdale County 89,717 1,297.2 0.7 13,103.4 276.4
4 DeKalb County 749,323 1,305.4 0.3 12,530.5 184.6
5 Haralson County 29,227 1,353.3 2.0 13,183.0 444.8
6 Fulton County 1,036,200 1,387.5 0.3 13,070.1 177.7
7 Clayton County 283,538 1,425.3 0.2 14,236.9 273.7
8 Meriwether County 21,106 1,451.7 0.0 14,379.8 568.6
9 Carroll County 117,183 1,463.6 0.5 14,264.0 303.8
10 Coweta County 143,260 1,482.3 0.1 14,946.3 271.5
11 Forsyth County 228,383 1,487.6 0.2 15,375.9 127.4
12 Spalding County 65,306 1,511.2 0.7 16,289.5 502.3
13 Jasper County 13,916 1,523.6 0.0 15,722.9 424.0
14 Newton County 108,079 1,538.6 0.2 15,476.6 339.6
15 Cobb County 751,218 1,549.9 0.2 14,996.3 190.9
16 Paulding County 159,825 1,581.5 0.4 16,187.1 217.7
17 Douglas County 143,316 1,601.1 0.7 15,907.5 214.9
18 Gwinnett County 915,046 1,618.1 0.2 14,973.0 167.3
19 Henry County 225,356 1,707.8 0.3 17,385.8 231.2
20 Pickens County 31,387 1,710.8 0.0 18,185.9 388.7
21 Walton County 91,442 1,723.8 0.5 16,857.7 386.0
22 Morgan County 18,507 1,724.2 0.0 17,868.9 264.8
23 Lamar County 18,672 1,746.0 1.3 18,669.7 530.2
24 Cherokee County 247,515 1,850.8 0.1 18,076.9 194.7
25 Barrow County 78,991 1,923.5 0.2 19,154.1 254.5
26 Dawson County 24,536 1,932.7 0.1 19,465.3 313.8
27 Pike County 18,327 1,947.6 0.0 21,220.1 387.4
28 Butts County 24,090 1,950.3 0.4 19,871.3 510.6
29 Bartow County 104,919 2,058.9 0.2 19,982.1 346.9

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