Special Report

These Are the Counties In the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metro Area Where COVID-19 Is Growing the Fastest

After adding over 378,000 new cases throughout the last week, the U.S. now has more than 78.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 940,000 COVID-19-related deaths — the highest death toll of any country.

New cases continue to rise, albeit at a slowing rate. In the past week, there were an average of 22.6 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans — a decrease from the week prior, when there were an average of 31.4 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 neighborhoods and a large population may be particularly at-risk.

The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI, metro area consists of Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, and 11 other counties. In the past week, there were an average of 14.4 new coronavirus cases every day per 100,000 Chicago residents, less than the national figure. The metro area’s average daily case growth in the most recent week is a decrease from the week prior, when there was an average of 19.5 daily new cases per 100,000 Chicago residents.

The spread of coronavirus depends on a variety of factors and can vary even between neighboring counties. Within the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin metro area, COVID-19 is growing the fastest in McHenry County. There were an average of 19.6 new cases per day per 100,000 residents in McHenry County during the past week, the most of the 14 counties in Chicago with available data.

Case growth in the Chicago metro area varies at the county level. In Lake County, for example, there were an average of 7.6 new cases per day per 100,000 residents in the past week — the least of any county in Chicago and more than the case growth rate in McHenry County.

While McHenry County is driving the growth of COVID-19 in the Chicago area, it does not have the highest incidence of cases overall. As of March 3, there were a total of 24,332.7 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents in McHenry County, the fourth most of the 14 counties in the metro area. For comparison, the U.S. has so far reported 24,130.9 cases per 100,000 Americans nationwide.

The pandemic has led to the closure of thousands of consumer-facing businesses around the country. These changes have led to widespread job loss and record unemployment. In McHenry County, unemployment peaked at 16.4% in April 2020. As of June 2021, the county’s unemployment rate was 6.8%.

To determine the county in every metropolitan area where COVID-19 is growing the fastest, 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 March 3. To estimate the incidence of COVID-19 at the metropolitan level, we aggregated data up 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 Illinois 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 March 3 New daily cases per 100,000, week ending February 24 Cumulative cases per 100,000 Cumulative deaths per 100,000
1 McHenry County 307,714 19.6 30.7 24,332.7 149.8
2 Lake County 701,473 19.1 26.7 20,982.3 189.9
3 DuPage County 929,060 18.4 25.3 22,145.9 180.6
4 Kendall County 126,054 17.8 41.7 24,206.3 123.0
5 Grundy County 50,666 16.5 17.1 24,701.0 262.5
6 Kane County 531,376 15.6 24.0 23,430.1 207.0
7 Jasper County 33,447 15.1 19.7 26,773.7 406.6
8 DeKalb County 104,366 14.9 29.9 22,031.1 181.1
9 Cook County 5,198,275 13.4 16.4 21,390.6 270.6
10 Kenosha County 168,524 13.1 18.5 25,885.9 362.6
11 Will County 689,315 12.9 18.6 23,183.3 216.6
12 Porter County 168,636 10.9 28.4 22,014.3 310.1
13 Newton County 13,992 8.5 12.8 18,138.9 471.7
14 Lake County 485,707 7.6 10.6 21,702.4 349.0

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.