Healthcare Economy

COVID-19: More Than 1 in 200 People Have Died in These Counties

COVID-19 has taken 322,343 lives in America, a country with a population of 331,002,651. Soon, the pandemic will have killed one out of every 1,000 Americans. In some counties, the ratio is much, much worse. In a few, the disease has taken over one life per 200 people.

The ratios will get worse. U.S. deaths now increase by over 3,000 some days. That figure is bound to rise. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine has one of the most carefully followed and widely regarded COVID-19 prediction models for deaths, daily infections, testing, mask use, hospital resource use and social distancing. Its scientists forecast that 509,000 Americans will die by April 1, if Americans do not take more aggressive measures to arrest the spread of the disease.

The counties where more than one person out of 200 has died of COVID-19 are small by population. None has more than 14,000 residents. Several have fewer than 3,000. Most share something in common. They are located in two states that have been devastated by the disease: North and South Dakota. Jerauld County, South Dakota, tops of the list with 1.5 deaths per 200 people.

Another measure shows how much the disease has spread in the Dakotas. North Dakota ranks 47th among states in population at 765,309. Yet, it ranks ahead of 11 states based on confirmed COVID-19 cases at 90,549. South Dakota ranks 46th among states by population at 892,717, and 12 stats rank behind it based on confirmed COVID-19 cases when measured against its 95,509 total. Vermont, the 50th state by population at 623,347, has only 6,608 confirmed cases. The contrast between Vermont and the Dakotas shows just how horrible things have become in the plains states.

The other counties on the list do not present a pattern. There is one each in Texas, Georgia and Virginia.

Over time, the list of counties in which 1 in 200 people have died of COVID-19 will grow. In some of the hardest-hit counties, the figure could approach 1 in 100.

These are the five most dangerous counties for COVID-19 by state.

Counties Where More Than 1 in 200 Have Died of COVID-19

State County Population Deaths Deaths per 200
South Dakota Jerauld 2,029 15 1.5
North Dakota Dickey 4,970 32 1.3
South Dakota Gregory 4,201 26 1.2
North Dakota Foster 3,290 19 1.2
South Dakota Turner 8,264 47 1.1
Georgia Hancock 8,535 47 1.1
Virginia Emporia 5,381 29 1.1
North Dakota Pierce 4,210 21 1.0
South Dakota Buffalo 2,053 10 1.0
North Dakota Renville 2,495 12 1.0
Texas Lamb 13,262 63 1.0