Special Report

COVID-19: This Is America's Worst Hot Spot

The U.S. has reported more than 32.6 million confirmed COVID-19 cases as of May 20, 2021. More than 580,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 — the highest death toll of any country.

The virus has spread throughout the country in a way that has been difficult to predict, surging in one region, then showing signs of improvement, and then reappearing in other regions. Though local outbreaks may ebb and flow, the current surge in cases has been felt nearly nationwide, leading to new travel restrictions and business closures around the country.

Nationwide, there were an average of 11.2 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans in the week ending May 20, 2021. Cumulatively, the U.S. has reported 9,987.8 cases per 100,000 Americans, and 177.8 deaths per 100,000 Americans.

The extent of the spread of the novel coronavirus continues to vary considerably from state to state, and even from county to county. Even as the number of daily new cases is flattening or even declining in some parts of the country, new cases are surging at a growing rate in others.

The nation’s worst COVID-19 hot spot is in Texas. In Armstrong County, there were an average of 131.0 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans in the week ending May 20, 2021 — more than 11.0 times greater than the national case growth rate and the most of any county in the country.

Other national hot spots include Houston County, Texas; Chattahoochee County, Georgia; and Conejos County, Colorado. Case growth in these counties range from 115.2 daily new cases per 100,000 residents to 95.2 daily new cases per 100,000.

To determine the county in each state with the highest rate of daily cases of the virus, 24/7 Wall St. compiled and reviewed data from state and local health departments. We ranked counties according to the average new number of cases per 100,000 residents per day during the week ending May 20, 2021. Population data used to adjust case and death totals came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey and are five-year estimates.