Special Report

This is the City in Florida Where COVID-19 is Growing the Fastest

The U.S. has reported more than 33.4 million confirmed COVID-19 cases as of July 14. There have been more than 601,000 reported deaths from COVID-19-related causes — the highest death toll of any country.

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

Nationwide, the number of new cases is growing at a steady rate. There were an average of 4.3 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans in the week ending July 14, essentially unchanged from the week prior, when there were an average of 3.5 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.

In Florida, there were an average of 11.7 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents in the week ending July 14 — the fifth most of all 50 states. Florida’s most recent case growth is essentially unchanged from the week prior, when there were an average of 7.6 daily new cases per 100,000 residents.

Metropolitan areas with a high degree of mobility and a large population may be particularly vulnerable to outbreaks. While science and medical professionals are still studying how exactly the virus spreads, experts agree that outbreaks are more likely to occur in group settings where large numbers of people routinely have close contact with one another. Cities with high concentrations of dense spaces such as colleges, correctional facilities, and nursing homes are particularly at risk.

In the Jacksonville metropolitan area, there were an average of 17.4 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents in the week ending July 14 — the fastest case growth of any city in Florida. The metro area’s most recent case growth rate is an increase from the week prior, when there were an average of 11.8 daily new cases per 100,000 residents.

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, the city where COVID-19 is growing the second fastest, has reported an average of 10.8 new daily cases per 100,000 residents.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Jacksonville metropolitan area has reported a cumulative total of 161,453 confirmed cases, or 10,737.9 per 100,000 residents. By comparison, there are currently 10,945.0 cases per 100,000 Florida residents and 10,191.3 cases per 100,000 Americans nationwide.

In order to slow the spread, cities have ordered the closure of thousands of consumer-facing businesses. These measures have led to widespread job loss and record unemployment. In Jacksonville, unemployment peaked at 11.4% in April 2020. As of May 2021, the unemployment rate was 5.0%.

To determine the metropolitan area in each state where COVID-19 is growing the fastest, 24/7 Wall St. compiled and reviewed data from state and local health departments. We ranked metropolitan areas according to the average number of new daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the seven days ending July 14. Data was aggregated from the county level to the metropolitan area 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.

These are all the counties in Florida where COVID-19 is slowing (and where it’s still getting worse).

MSA Population New daily cases per 100,000, week ending Jul. 14 New daily cases per 100,000, week ending Jul. 7 Cumulative cases per 100,000 Cumulative deaths per 100,000
Jacksonville, FL 1,503,574 17.4 11.8 10,737.9 149.3
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 2,508,970 10.8 7.4 10,486.7 120.3
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL 6,090,660 10.6 8.2 14,997.4 204.1
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL 585,507 10.4 8.1 7,591.2 156.1
Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL 686,218 8.8 7.3 10,630.2 202.1
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL 646,288 8.7 7.0 8,345.5 148.5
Naples-Marco Island, FL 371,453 7.8 5.9 10,233.1 148.3
Port St. Lucie, FL 472,012 7.8 6.2 8,772.7 210.2
Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL 153,989 7.6 4.7 8,525.3 198.7
Panama City, FL 182,161 7.0 5.3 11,472.8 216.3
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL 272,056 6.9 5.8 10,788.6 167.6
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 3,097,859 6.8 5.4 9,336.5 154.5
Tallahassee, FL 382,197 6.5 3.4 11,612.1 134.7
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL 737,468 6.4 6.1 10,214.7 136.8
Homosassa Springs, FL 145,169 5.7 3.5 8,024.4 318.9
Ocala, FL 353,526 5.7 3.8 9,181.8 281.7
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL 488,246 5.4 3.8 11,445.9 204.2
Sebring-Avon Park, FL 103,437 5.1 3.9 8,620.7 353.8
The Villages, FL 125,044 4.9 4.3 7,738.1 227.1
Gainesville, FL 323,799 4.3 3.3 9,616.8 118.9
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL 803,709 4.2 3.3 9,309.1 190.7
Punta Gorda, FL 181,067 3.6 4.3 7,564.6 241.3