Special Report

These Are the Counties in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area Where COVID-19 is Growing the Slowest

After adding over 289,000 new cases throughout the last week, the U.S. now has more than 33.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 600,000 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 10.3 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans — an increase from the week prior, when there were an average of 4.2 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 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, metro area consists of Fairfax County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and 22 other counties. In the past week, there were an average of 3.0 new coronavirus cases every day per 100,000 Washington 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 1.1 daily new cases per 100,000 Washington residents.

The spread of coronavirus depends on a variety of factors and can vary even between neighboring counties. Within the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metro area, COVID-19 is growing the slowest in Clarke County, Virginia. There were an average of 0.0 new cases per day per 100,000 residents in Clarke County during the past week, the least of the 25 counties in Washington with available data.

Case growth in the Washington metro area varies at the county level. In Fauquier County, for example, there were an average of 5.6 new cases per day per 100,000 residents in the past week — the most of any county in Washington and more than the case growth rate in Clarke County.

While Clarke County has the slowest case growth in the Washington area, it does not have the lowest incidence of cases overall. As of July 22, there were a total of 6,891.8 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents in Clarke County, the ninth fewest of the 25 counties in the metro area. For comparison, the U.S. has so far reported 10,391.7 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 Clarke County, unemployment peaked at 8.1% in April 2020. As of April 2021, the county’s unemployment rate was 3.7%.

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 July 22. 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.

Click here to see all current COVID-19 data for Washington D.C.

Rank in MSA County Population New daily cases per 100,000, week ending July 22 New daily cases per 100,000, week ending July 15 Cumulative cases per 100,000 Cumulative deaths per 100,000
1 Clarke County 14,423 0.0 12.7 6,891.8 145.6
2 Falls Church city 14,128 0.0 0.0 3,043.6 56.6
3 Manassas Park city 16,986 0.5 0.8 7,194.2 64.8
4 Madison County 13,170 0.6 3.4 4,677.3 106.3
5 Fairfax city 23,531 0.7 0.9 2,409.6 80.7
6 Manassas city 41,174 1.0 0.7 10,492.1 116.6
7 Rappahannock County 7,378 1.1 10.0 4,811.6 27.1
8 Jefferson County 56,506 1.4 2.0 8,517.7 106.2
9 Calvert County 91,511 1.4 0.3 4,648.6 94.0
10 Fredericksburg city 28,622 1.8 1.7 7,564.1 87.3
11 Montgomery County 1,043,530 2.3 0.8 6,851.1 156.0
12 Frederick County 251,422 2.3 0.8 7,917.0 136.8
13 Fairfax County 1,145,862 2.5 0.7 6,760.4 98.1
14 Loudoun County 395,134 2.7 0.4 7,138.6 71.6
15 Arlington County 233,464 2.8 0.8 6,584.3 110.5
16 Charles County 159,428 2.9 1.0 6,914.7 136.1
17 Culpeper County 51,101 3.2 3.2 9,291.4 131.1
18 Alexandria city 157,613 3.4 1.3 7,577.4 89.5
19 Prince William County 461,423 3.7 1.4 9,967.6 110.5
20 Spotsylvania County 132,833 3.8 3.0 7,740.5 94.1
21 District of Columbia 692,683 3.8 1.3 7,168.1 165.4
22 Prince George’s County 908,670 3.8 1.2 9,460.3 176.2
23 Stafford County 146,773 4.6 1.5 7,910.2 56.5
24 Warren County 39,492 5.4 2.3 8,014.3 154.5
25 Fauquier County 69,728 5.6 2.6 6,921.2 99.0