Almost 4 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the United States, and more than 144,000 people are known to have died as a result of the virus — by far the most cases and deaths of any country. Within the United States, the extent of the spread varies considerably from state to state, and even from county to county. As the number of daily new cases is declining in some parts of the country, they are spiking alarmingly in others. In the vast majority of states, the number of daily new cases is rising, and a number of states have paused their planned reopenings as a result.
Using data from state and local health departments, 24/7 Wall St. compiled and reviewed the average of new daily confirmed COVID-19 cases for the week ending July 20 and compared it to the average of new daily cases from the previous week to determine the county in each state where the virus is spreading the fastest. We excluded counties with populations of fewer than 5,000 people, as well as those with fewer than 20 reported new cases in the past 14 days.
The average number of new daily cases per capita nationwide has increased from 17.0 per 100,000 during the week ending July 13 to 19.8 per 100,000 in the week ending July 20, an increase of 2.8 daily new cases per 100,000 people. Some counties on this list reported relatively modest increases. In five states — Connecticut, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont — no qualifying county had a week-over-week increase of at least one average daily new case per 100,000 residents. At the other end of the spectrum, one county on this list reported a surge of 163 daily new cases per 100,000 people in just one week, from an average of 78 daily new cases per 100,000 residents two weeks ago to an average of 241 per 100,000 the past week.
Generally, the counties on this list where new cases are increasing the fastest — not just in their state but also nationwide — are in states where the virus is also spreading the fastest, and vice versa. But there are some notable exceptions. Similar to the U.S., Minnesota and Nebraska have recorded increases of fewer than 3 daily new cases per 100,000, week-over-week. Both states, however, have counties that have recorded increases of more than 40 new daily cases per 100,000 compared to the previous week. These are the states with the most and fewest COVID-19 cases.