More than 130 days have passed since the first known case of COVID-19 was identified in the United States. Over that period, nearly 1.8 million Americans have been infected — and over 100,000 of them have died.
While no state has avoided the virus’s reach, cases have been largely concentrated in densely-populated states in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. Still, in nearly every state — even in those where the number of known cases per capita has remained low — there are hotspots where the number of diagnosed cases per capita is approaching or well exceeding the national figure. As of June 1, there have been 554 cases of the virus for every 100,000 people nationwide.
Using COVID-19 data from state and local health departments, and population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed COVID-19 cases in over 3,000 U.S. county and county equivalents to determine the county in each state with the most cumulative confirmed cases, adjusted to the population. In the counties on this list, the prevalence of the disease ranges from 73 cases to more than 14,000 cases per 100,000 people. Data in every state is current as of June 1, with the exception of Connecticut, where state-level data is as of May 31, and New Hampshire, where state and county-level data are as of May 31.
With no vaccine, the most effective virus containment tool we have had at our disposal is social distancing. It is therefore no coincidence that many of the counties on this list are home to places where social distancing is difficult, if not impossible. These places include prisons — such as those in Colorado’s Logan County and Tennessee’s Trousdale County — and industrial plants, such as the JBS meat plants in Nobles County, Minnesota and Moore County, Texas. Here are every state’s rules for staying home and social distancing.
It is important to note that infection rates at national, state, and county levels only reflect known cases. For a variety of reasons, in much of the country, there are likely thousands of undetected COVID-19 infections. This is how COVID-19 is being underreported in most states.