The United States has reported more than 37.9 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of August 26. More than 626,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 – the highest death toll of any country.
The virus has spread across the country in a way that is difficult to predict, increasing in one area, then showing signs of improvement, then reappearing in other areas. While local epidemics can fluctuate, the current increase in cases has been felt across most of the country, leading to further travel restrictions and business closures across the country.
Nationally, there were an average of 45.3 new cases of coronavirus per day per 100,000 Americans in the week ending August 26. Cumulatively, the United States has reported 11,567.6 cases per 100,000 Americans and 190.8 deaths per 100,000 Americans.
The coronavirus has spread to different parts of the country at different stages throughout the pandemic. In the spring, the worst-affected states were in the northeast, with New York City becoming the epicenter of the national crisis. The virus spread to the Sun Belt states in the summer and hit the Midwestern and Western states in the fall. Now, almost all states are classified as a COVID-19 hotspot, according to definitions based on new cases per capita from the nonprofit health organization Kaiser Family Foundation.
While the country’s largest metropolitan areas were hit hardest in the early months of the pandemic, nearly every city suffered from the virus. Outbreaks are particularly likely to occur in places where large numbers of people tend to congregate, leaving cities with high concentrations of universities, correctional facilities and nursing homes particularly at risk.
To determine each state’s metropolitan area with the highest number of COVID-19 cases per capita, 24/7 Wall St. compiled and reviewed data from state and local health departments. We ranked metropolitan areas based on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population as of August 26. Data were aggregated from the county level to the metropolitan area level using the US Census Bureau boundary definitions. The demographics used to adjust the case and death totals are from the 2019 American Community Survey from the US Census Bureau and are five-year estimates.