Healthcare Economy

COVID-19: These Are the 5 Most Dangerous Counties in Your State

The acceleration in the spread of COVID-19 in the United States in the past month is nothing short of astonishing. Confirmed cases now routinely rise by over 200,000 a day, on the way to what experts think will be 300,000. Fatal cases per day have risen to over 3,000, and experts fear that could surge over the course of January. Currently, total confirmed cases in the United States stand at 23,489,378 and fatalities at 390,738.

Some parts of the country are much worse off than others are. At this point, the surge of disease runs from coast to coast, from Rhode Island to California to Kentucky, where cases and deaths per 100,000 have surged. This has put the national intensive care unit bed capacity at 100% in some cities. Case counts in states where the growth has slowed also have picked up. This includes, in particular, New York, which was hit worse than any other state in terms of deaths during a horrible period from late March through April. The state still has more fatal cases than any other does at 39,997.

The effects of the disease on any area are measured in several ways. Among the most widely followed are confirmed cases per 100,000 people. This shows how deeply COVID-19 has spread in any given county. It also can be a sign of likely future spread because such a large portion of the population already has been affected.

Until vaccines can slow and start to eliminate COVID-19, people have to be on guard for the spread of the disease in their own communities. 24/7 Wall St. has looked at each state to determine the counties where the confirmed cases per 100,000 are the highest. We also have shown a more grim figure, which is deaths per 100,000.

The ways that people can protect themselves regardless of the intensity of the spread of the disease have changed very little since the start of the pandemic. Wear masks, social distance, wash hands and, when talking, stay outside as much as possible. Just as important, do not gather inside in groups of more than a few people.

This list shows the five counties in each state where the cases per 100,000 are the highest. It provides a picture of which areas in a state are most dangerous in terms of the spread of the disease.

Alabama
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Lowndes 10,236 1,076 36 10,512 352
Clay 13,378 1,237 43 9,247 321
Butler 20,025 1,651 57 8,245 285
Hale 14,887 1,721 42 11,560 282
Walker 64,493 5,803 177 8,998 274
Alaska
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Yukon-Koyukuk 5,415 172 4 3,176 74
Bethel 18,040 1,736 12 9,623 67
Southeast Fairbanks 6,876 263 3 3,825 44
Anchorage 296,112 16,378 128 5,531 43
Kusilvak 8,198 436 3 5,318 37
Arizona
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Apache 71,522 8,376 262 11,711 366
Navajo 108,705 12,894 378 11,861 348
Gila 53,400 5,203 157 9,743 294
Yuma 207,829 31,789 601 15,296 289
Santa Cruz 46,584 6,807 127 14,612 273
Arkansas
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Fulton 12,139 1,264 59 10,413 486
Newton 7,848 689 30 8,779 382
Independence 37,264 4,118 127 11,051 341
Little River 12,417 1,093 41 8,802 330
Chicot 10,826 1,482 35 13,689 323
California
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Imperial 180,216 24,566 449 13,631 249
Inyo 18,085 773 27 4,274 149
Stanislaus 539,301 39,615 699 7,346 130
Los Angeles 10,098,052 926,295 12,674 9,173 126
Merced 269,075 22,172 285 8,240 106
Colorado
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Morgan 28,257 2,274 85 8,048 301
Otero 18,325 1,733 55 9,457 300
Bent 5,809 1,240 17 21,346 293
Huerfano 6,583 283 18 4,299 273
Logan 21,689 3,433 55 15,828 254
Connecticut
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Hartford 894,730 55,710 1,978 6,226 221
New Haven 859,339 55,665 1,680 6,478 195
Fairfield 944,348 65,000 1,821 6,883 193
Middlesex 163,368 8,007 289 4,901 177
Litchfield 183,031 8,750 244 4,781 133
Delaware
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Sussex 219,540 17,758 316 8,089 144
Kent 174,822 10,809 183 6,183 105
New Castle 555,133 38,451 495 6,926 89
Florida
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Union 15,239 1,578 68 10,355 446
Jackson 48,472 5,160 122 10,645 252
Lafayette 8,744 1,474 22 16,857 252
Calhoun 14,444 1,410 32 9,762 222
Highlands 102,101 5,668 225 5,551 220
Georgia
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Hancock 8,535 702 48 8,225 562
Wilcox 8,846 406 39 4,590 441
Randolph 7,087 380 31 5,362 437
Early 10,348 779 43 7,528 416
Terrell 8,859 475 35 5,362 395
Hawaii
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Honolulu 987,638 19,462 244 1,971 25
Hawaii 197,658 2,037 45 1,031 23
Maui 165,281 1,473 19 891 11
Kauai 71,377 169 1 237 1
Idaho
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Shoshone 12,526 908 30 7,249 240
Owyhee 11,455 935 21 8,162 183
Lincoln 5,321 458 9 8,607 169
Washington 10,025 1,065 16 10,623 160
Lewis 3,845 357 6 9,285 156
Illinois
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Stark 5,500 490 20 8,909 364
Ford 13,398 1,348 47 10,061 351
Greene 13,218 1,229 42 9,298 318
Whiteside 56,396 5,133 172 9,102 305
Marion 38,084 3,886 111 10,204 291
Indiana
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Decatur 26,552 2,350 81 8,851 305
Pulaski 12,660 931 36 7,354 284
Wayne 66,613 5,766 154 8,656 231
Daviess 32,937 2,528 70 7,675 213
Vermillion 15,560 1,407 33 9,042 212
Iowa
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Ida 6,916 731 30 10,570 434
Harrison 14,143 1,518 61 10,733 431
O’Brien 13,911 1,673 54 12,026 388
Tama 17,136 1,835 57 10,708 333
Wayne 6,413 413 21 6,440 327
Kansas
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Gove 2,619 285 22 10,882 840
Ness 2,955 205 15 6,937 508
Nemaha 10,104 829 50 8,205 495
Norton 5,486 1,156 25 21,072 456
Comanche 1,780 71 8 3,989 449
Kentucky
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Robertson 2,143 164 7 7,653 327
Lee 6,751 1,087 18 16,101 267
Monroe 10,634 1,067 28 10,034 263
Owsley 4,463 348 10 7,797 224
Adair 19,241 1,315 43 6,834 223
Louisiana
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
East Feliciana 19,499 2,620 96 13,437 492
Franklin 20,322 2,200 91 10,826 448
Bienville 13,668 1,358 60 9,936 439
Red River 8,618 729 29 8,459 337
West Carroll 11,180 1,034 35 9,249 313
Maine
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Oxford 57,325 1,472 29 2,568 51
Somerset 50,710 902 24 1,779 47
Waldo 39,418 413 18 1,048 46
Androscoggin 107,444 3,370 48 3,137 45
Hancock 54,541 655 23 1,201 42
Maryland
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Allegany 71,977 5,799 163 8,057 226
Garrett 29,376 1,647 57 5,607 194
Kent 19,593 886 31 4,522 158
Prince George’s 906,202 60,972 1,151 6,728 127
Baltimore 827,625 42,810 1,027 5,173 124
Massachusetts
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Hampden 469,116 31,393 1,114 6,692 237
Essex 781,024 68,261 1,827 8,740 234
Bristol 558,905 42,507 1,185 7,605 212
Plymouth 512,135 29,858 1,072 5,830 209
Worcester 822,280 51,038 1,667 6,207 203
Michigan
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Baraga 8,507 567 29 6,665 341
Iron 11,212 872 37 7,777 330
Dickinson 25,570 2,263 70 8,850 274
Ontonagon 5,968 315 16 5,278 268
Gogebic 15,414 1,060 40 6,877 260
Minnesota
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Kittson 4,337 362 19 8,347 438
Chippewa 12,010 1,306 32 10,874 266
Renville 14,721 1,356 39 9,211 265
Pipestone 9,185 915 22 9,962 240
Lac qui Parle 6,773 651 16 9,612 236
Mississippi
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Neshoba 29,376 3,282 149 11,172 507
Issaquena 1,328 155 6 11,672 452
Sharkey 4,511 416 17 9,222 377
Clarke 15,928 1,345 60 8,444 377
Covington 19,091 2,054 71 10,759 372
Missouri
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Clinton 20,475 1,385 60 6,764 293
Grundy 10,039 751 27 7,481 269
Gentry 6,665 665 16 9,977 240
New Madrid 17,811 1,693 39 9,505 219
Gasconade 14,746 766 31 5,195 210
Montana
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Big Horn 13,376 2,207 69 16,500 516
Roosevelt 11,228 1,410 52 12,558 463
Wibaux 1,175 113 5 9,617 426
Carter 1,318 139 5 10,546 379
Meagher 1,968 114 7 5,793 356
Nebraska
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Grant 718 23 4 3,203 557
Perkins 2,907 247 11 8,497 378
Hooker 691 48 2 6,946 289
Morrill 4,841 431 14 8,903 289
Nance 3,554 358 10 10,073 281
Nevada
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Pershing 6,611 851 15 12,872 227
Churchill 24,010 1,599 44 6,660 183
Carson 54,467 5,415 83 9,942 152
Lander 5,746 406 8 7,066 139
Clark 2,141,574 194,220 2,716 9,069 127
New Hampshire
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Hillsborough 411,087 21,476 485 5,224 118
Belknap 60,640 2,317 70 3,821 115
Coos 32,038 861 19 2,687 59
Merrimack 149,452 5,752 83 3,849 56
Rockingham 305,129 13,116 162 4,299 53
New Jersey
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Essex 793,555 56,824 2,459 7,161 310
Passaic 504,041 46,517 1,524 9,229 302
Union 553,066 45,916 1,607 8,302 291
Hudson 668,631 53,632 1,769 8,021 265
Bergen 929,999 58,354 2,397 6,275 258
New Mexico
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
McKinley 72,849 10,700 370 14,688 508
Sierra 11,135 629 39 5,649 350
Cibola 26,978 2,447 83 9,070 308
Socorro 17,000 1,017 46 5,982 271
San Juan 127,455 11,765 318 9,231 249
New York
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Bronx 1,437,872 95,345 3,637 6,631 253
Queens 2,298,513 144,226 5,523 6,275 240
Kings 2,600,747 141,535 5,586 5,442 215
Richmond 474,101 41,814 931 8,820 196
Rockland 323,686 30,557 611 9,440 189
North Carolina
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Hertford 24,153 1,567 52 6,488 215
Rutherford 66,532 5,302 137 7,969 206
Montgomery 27,338 2,309 52 8,446 190
Cleveland 97,159 8,115 165 8,352 170
Scotland 35,262 2,848 59 8,077 167
North Dakota
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Dickey 4,970 710 32 14,286 644
Foster 3,290 536 19 16,292 578
Pierce 4,210 502 22 11,924 523
Renville 2,495 281 12 11,263 481
Towner 2,246 286 10 12,734 445
Ohio
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Noble 14,443 1,153 38 7,983 263
Wyandot 22,107 1,865 47 8,436 213
Mercer 40,806 4,172 85 10,224 208
Putnam 33,969 3,565 70 10,495 206
Clark 135,198 10,235 260 7,570 192
Oklahoma
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Cotton 5,929 502 12 8,467 202
McCurtain 32,966 3,206 57 9,725 173
Roger Mills 3,708 317 6 8,549 162
Greer 5,943 423 9 7,118 151
Jackson 25,384 2,548 38 10,038 150
Oregon
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Malheur 30,431 3,100 51 10,187 168
Jefferson 23,143 1,649 24 7,125 104
Wasco 25,866 1,025 23 3,963 89
Hood River 23,131 922 20 3,986 86
Umatilla 76,898 6,470 64 8,414 83
Pennsylvania
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Mifflin 46,362 3,851 131 8,306 283
Northumberland 92,325 5,935 258 6,428 279
Juniata 24,562 1,540 68 6,270 277
Cambria 134,550 9,824 307 7,301 228
Bedford 48,611 3,289 103 6,766 212
Rhode Island
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Providence 634,533 67,526 1,479 10,642 233
Bristol 48,900 3,251 78 6,648 160
Kent 163,861 11,802 228 7,202 139
Washington 126,242 5,521 125 4,373 99
Newport 83,075 3,578 11 4,307 13
South Carolina
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Bamberg 14,600 1,073 42 7,349 288
Marion 31,562 2,437 79 7,721 250
Fairfield 22,712 1,564 56 6,886 247
Lee 17,606 1,367 43 7,764 244
Clarendon 34,017 2,058 81 6,050 238
South Dakota
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Jerauld 2,029 265 16 13,061 789
Gregory 4,201 493 26 11,735 619
Hamlin 6,000 640 37 10,667 617
Turner 8,264 1,009 49 12,210 593
Faulk 2,322 317 13 13,652 560
Tennessee
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Pickett 5,088 653 19 12,834 373
Clay 7,686 900 25 11,710 325
Perry 7,912 922 24 11,653 303
Houston 8,176 919 22 11,240 269
Crockett 14,499 1,785 38 12,311 262
Texas
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Lamb 13,262 1,775 72 13,384 543
Dawson 12,964 1,551 59 11,964 455
Motley 1,156 79 5 6,834 433
Floyd 5,872 623 25 10,610 426
Brooks 7,180 664 29 9,248 404
Utah
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
San Juan 15,281 1,594 35 10,431 229
Salt Lake 1,120,805 119,222 611 10,637 55
Wasatch 30,523 3,613 16 11,837 52
Utah 590,440 77,010 238 13,043 40
Davis 340,621 28,810 106 8,458 31
Vermont
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Franklin 49,025 640 32 1,305 65
Chittenden 162,052 3,300 77 2,036 48
Windham 43,150 658 9 1,525 21
Orleans 26,911 312 5 1,159 19
Washington 58,477 968 10 1,655 17
Virginia
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Emporia 5,381 463 30 8,604 558
Galax 6,638 900 37 13,558 557
Northampton 11,957 525 31 4,391 259
Southampton 17,939 1,526 42 8,507 234
Franklin 8,211 722 18 8,793 219
Washington
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Yakima 249,325 22,311 340 8,949 136
Garfield 2,224 100 3 4,496 135
Asotin 22,337 1,096 23 4,907 103
Columbia 4,001 92 4 2,299 100
Franklin 90,660 9,526 87 10,507 96
West Virginia
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Mineral 27,278 2,270 72 8,322 264
Hancock 29,680 2,228 66 7,507 222
Logan 33,801 2,018 64 5,970 189
Marshall 31,645 2,454 57 7,755 180
Brooke 22,772 1,680 41 7,377 180
Wisconsin
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Iron 5,715 436 19 7,629 332
Florence 4,337 411 12 9,477 277
Forest 9,018 893 22 9,902 244
Menominee 4,579 760 11 16,598 240
Waupaca 51,444 4,350 102 8,456 198
Wyoming
County Population Cases Deaths Cases per 100k Deaths per 100k
Washakie 8,129 830 23 10,210 283
Big Horn 11,901 892 22 7,495 185
Fremont 40,076 4,213 71 10,513 177
Goshen 13,438 1,065 19 7,925 141
Natrona 80,610 6,939 103 8,608 128