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COVID-19: Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD Metro Area Among the Safest in America

24/7 Wall St. logo 24/7 Wall St. 4/25/2021 Evan Comen

a man and a dog in a kitchen preparing food © Provided by 24/7 Wall St. The U.S. reported over 60,000 new cases of coronavirus on Apr. 22, bringing the total count to more than 31,400,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 563,000 COVID-19-related deaths -- the highest death toll of any country.

New cases continue to rise at a steady rate. In the past week, there were an average of 20.6 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans -- essentially unchanged from the week prior, when there were an average of 21.4 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.

In the 50 largest metro areas, the incidence of COVID-19 grew at an average rate of 22.4 new cases a day per 100,000 residents in the past week -- 11.8% greater than the case growth in all counties outside of metro areas.

The Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD metro area consists of Baltimore County, the city of Baltimore, Anne Arundel County, and four other counties. As of Apr. 22, there were 7,078.7 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 Baltimore residents, the 42nd lowest rate of all 383 metro areas with available data. For comparison, the U.S. has so far reported 9,745.0 cases per 100,000 Americans nationwide.

The incidence of coronavirus cases depends on a variety of factors and can vary even between neighboring counties. Within the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson metro area, Baltimore city has the highest incidence of COVID-19 cases. As of Apr. 22, there were 8,112.7 cases per 100,000 residents in Baltimore city, the most of any county in Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, and far greater than the county with the lowest incidence. In Carroll County, there were 5,294.0 cases per 100,000 residents -- the least of any county in Baltimore-Columbia-Towson.

In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, city and county governments have ordered the closure of thousands of consumer-facing businesses. These measures have led to widespread job loss and record unemployment. In the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson metro area, unemployment peaked at 10.4% in April 2020. As of January 2021, the metro area’s unemployment rate was 5.9%.

To determine how the incidence of COVID-19 in the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD metro area compares to the rest of the country, 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.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.

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

FIPS MSA Population Confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Apr. 22 Confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Apr. 22 per 100,000 residents Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of Apr. 22 Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of Apr. 22 per 100,000 residents
15680 California-Lexington Park, MD 112,290 5,697 5,073.5 123 109.5
12580 Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 2,796,733 197,971 7,078.7 3,783 135.3
25180 Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV 283,147 26,631 9,405.4 412 145.5
41540 Salisbury, MD-DE 404,417 38,071 9,413.8 761 188.2
19060 Cumberland, MD-WV 98,612 9,495 9,628.6 287 291.0


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