The spread and intensity of COVID-19 in the U.S. population is measured in several ways. Among them are raw counts of cases and deaths. Another is cases and deaths per 100,000. Then are so-called hotspots, which measure the daily increase in confirmed cases using the most recent seven-day average per 100,000 people, compared to the previous seven days. Usually, these figures are reported at the county level.
Across the 50 states, the county in each that is the worst hotspot varies substantially by population, as well as the rate of growth. The largest is Honolulu County, Hawaii, which has a population of 987,638. It is followed by Fairfield County, Connecticut, with a population of 944,348. Third in population, Prince George’s County, Virginia, has a population of 906,202.
At the far end of the population scale, Issaquena County, Mississippi, has a population of 1,328. Statisticians might argue that its numbers are too small to be included. There are several other very small counties by population. Eddy County, North Dakota, has only 2,313 residents. Menominee County, Wisconsin, has only 4,579.
Suffice it to say that hotspot counties have no direct relationship to population.
The core measurement of new cases per day based on the seven-day average also varies widely when chosen by the worst county in each state.
The worst county in the nation by far is Crowley County, Colorado, with a figure of 648.86. It is followed by Lee County, Kentucky, at 422.31.
At the far end of the spectrum of worst hotspot counties by state, Honolulu County’s figure is 7.93. But Hawaii has only five counties, so there is not much competition for the position. The next lowest is Franklin County, Washington, at 19.90.
Measurements and measurement methods have started to blur into one another as the spread of COVID-19 quickens at an astonishing pace, which will only accelerate into December. The United States has 13,617,362 confirmed cases, and the figure has started to rise by almost 200,000 a day. Deaths stand at 271,296, up daily by as much as 2,000 in recent days. Experts worry that the number could double in the coming weeks. It is very hard to make an argument against that.
These are the COVID-19 hotspot counties by state:
|State||County||Population||Cases per 100k||New Cases per Day|
|Alaska||Bethel Census Area||18,040||8,442.35||230.44|
|Iowa||Buena Vista County||20,260||15,044.42||117.15|
|Louisiana||East Feliciana Parish||19,499||10,877.48||50.66|
|Maryland||Prince George’s County||906,202||4,531.77||38.68|
|Montana||Big Horn County||13,376||13,292.46||57.37|
|New Hampshire||Hillsborough County||411,087||2,050.42||33.74|
|New Jersey||Passaic County||504,041||5,921.94||73.96|
|New Mexico||McKinley County||72,849||9,667.94||196.91|
|New York||Rockland County||323,686||6,642.86||37.02|
|North Carolina||Sampson County||63,561||5,780.27||52.18|
|North Dakota||Eddy County||2,313||15,564.20||157.94|
|Rhode Island||Providence County||634,533||5,670.31||95.68|
|South Carolina||Newberry County||38,068||5,534.83||29.16|
|South Dakota||Bon Homme County||6,969||19,529.34||147.30|
|West Virginia||Mineral County||27,278||4,600.78||176.56|