The COVID-19 pandemic crippled much of the American way of life. People stopped traveling. Public places were closed. People did not go to their offices. For the first time in a century, a fatal disease threatened almost everyone in the nation, and deaths have risen over 600,000. As of Friday, 609,265 people had died of COVID-19 in the U.S., accounting for almost 16% of the world’s total. Confirmed cases stood at 33,727,123, about 18% of the world’s number. Although the increases in deaths and new cases have dropped to a fraction of what they were early this year, some parts of the nation continue to fight a rise in infections.
Vaccines have been the most effective means to arrest the growth of the disease. Vaccinations have had the greatest effect in areas that also enforce social distancing and mask-wearing. A total of 321,199,379 doses of vaccine have been given in the United States. As of Friday, 46% of the U.S. population had been fully vaccinated.
As epidemiologists and public health officials trace COVID-19, they need to compare outbreaks in states and counties of extremely different populations. To do this, they look at deaths and cases per 100,000 people. This creates an apples-to-apples yardstick.
“Hotspots” is a term often used to describe areas where the spread is particularly aggressive. These hotspots are generally the places where cases are growing the fastest on a per 100,000 basis.
Based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The New York Times shows that the county with the fastest rise in cases over the last seven days is Demmit, Texas. The United States has over 3,000 counties. The county’s cases per 100,000 over the last seven days number is 146. Among the counties on top of The New York Times list, five out of seven are in Texas as of yesterday.
According to the Census Bureau, Hutchinson had a population of 10,124 as of July 1, 2019. The median household income in the county is low at $27,161, over $40,000 below the U.S. average. The poverty rate at 25.3% which is double the national number. Eighty percent of the population is white. Just over 10% is Hispanic.