Special Report

This is the County in the Jacksonville, FL Metro Area Where COVID-19 is Growing the Fastest

After adding over 11,000 new cases on June 17, the U.S. now has more than 33.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 590,000 COVID-19-related deaths — the highest death toll of any country.

New cases continue to rise at a steady rate. In the past week, there were an average of 4.6 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans — essentially unchanged from the week prior, when there were an average of 5.6 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 Jacksonville, FL, metro area consists of Duval County, St. Johns County, Clay County, and two other counties. In the past week, there were an average of 6.9 new coronavirus cases every day per 100,000 Jacksonville residents, in line with 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 was an average of 8.8 daily new cases per 100,000 Jacksonville residents.

The spread of coronavirus depends on a variety of factors and can vary even between neighboring counties. Within the Jacksonville metro area, COVID-19 is growing the fastest in Baker County. There were an average of 9.0 new cases per day per 100,000 residents in Baker County during the past week, the most of the five counties in Jacksonville with available data.

Case growth in the Jacksonville metro area varies at the county level. In St. Johns County, for example, there were an average of 4.6 new cases per day per 100,000 residents in the past week — the least of any county in Jacksonville and more than the case growth rate in Baker County.

Just as Baker County is driving the growth of COVID-19 in the Jacksonville area, it also has the highest incidence of cases overall. As of June 17, there were a total of 12,675.9 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents in Baker County, the most of the five counties in the metro area. For comparison, the U.S. has so far reported 10,213.7 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 Baker County, unemployment peaked at 7.2% in April 2020. As of April 2021, the county’s unemployment rate was 4.0%.

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 June 17. 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 Florida 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 June. 17 New daily cases per 100,000, week ending June. 10 Cumulative cases per 100,000 Cumulative deaths per 100,000
1 Baker County 28,211 9.0 6.3 12,675.9 219.8
2 Duval County 936,186 7.7 9.5 10,876.7 158.4
3 Nassau County 83,098 7.1 10.9 10,505.7 152.8
4 Clay County 211,405 6.1 7.5 9,197.5 166.5
5 St. Johns County 244,674 4.6 6.8 9,583.0 90.3

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