The U.S. reported over 620,000 new cases of coronavirus in the seven days ending May 17, bringing the total count to more than 81.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 992,000 COVID-19-related deaths — the highest death toll of any country.
New cases continue to rise at a faster rate. In the past week, there were an average of 24.6 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans — an increase from the week prior, when there were an average of 19.2 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.
While new data shows that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is high in almost every part of the country, cities continue to be the sites of major outbreaks and superspreader events. Experts agree that the virus is more likely to spread in group settings where large numbers of people routinely have close contact with one another, such as colleges, nursing homes, bars, and restaurants. Metropolitan areas with a high degree of connectivity between different neighborhoods and a large population may be particularly at-risk.
The metro areas with the lowest incidence of COVID-19 cases are distributed relatively unevenly across the United States. Of the 50 metro areas with the lowest case counts per capita, 26 are in the West, 15 are in the South, eight are in the Northeast, and one is in the Midwest.
The five metro areas with the smallest number of coronavirus cases per capita are: St. George, UT; Bremerton-Silverdale-Port Orchard, WA; Eugene-Springfield, OR; Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA; and Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD. The incidence of COVID-19 in these metro areas range from 12,376.7 cases per 100,000 to 16,471.3 cases per 100,000. For comparison, there are currently 25,296.3 cases per 100,000 Americans nationwide.
The 50 cities with the lowest incidence of COVID-19 have more than 6,800 fewer coronavirus cases per capita than the U.S. as a whole, but cases are growing at an increasing rate. There were an average of 48.1 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the week ending May 17, an increase from the week prior, when there were an average of 39.8 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people. In 45 of the 50 cities with the lowest COVID-19 incidence, new cases are rising at a slowing rate.
To determine the cities with the fewest COVID-19 cases, 24/7 Wall St. compiled and reviewed data from state and local health departments. We ranked metro areas based on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents as of May 17.To estimate the incidence of COVID-19 at the metropolitan level, we aggregated data from the county level using boundary definitions from the U.S. Census Bureau. Population data used to adjust case and death totals came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey and are five-year estimates. Unemployment data is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is seasonally adjusted.
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