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COVID-19: How Cases in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metro Area Compare to Other Major Metros

24/7 Wall St. logo 24/7 Wall St. 10/23/2021 Evan Comen

© Provided by 24/7 Wall St. The U.S. reported over 551,000 new cases of coronavirus over the seven days ending October 21, bringing the total count to more than 44.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 724,000 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 27.1 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans -- essentially unchanged from the week prior, when there were an average of 28.1 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 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO metro area consists of Denver County, Arapahoe County, Jefferson County, and seven other counties. As of October 21, there were 12,231.3 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 Denver residents, 12.0% lower than the national rate. For comparison, the U.S. has so far reported 13,893.5 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 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area, Adams County has the highest incidence of COVID-19 cases. As of October 21, there were 14,676.4 cases per 100,000 residents in Adams County, the most of any county in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, and far greater than the county with the lowest incidence. In Gilpin County, there were 6,962.4 cases per 100,000 residents -- the least of any county in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood.

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 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area, unemployment peaked at 12.3% in April 2020. As of May 2021, the metro area’s unemployment rate was 6.5%.

To determine how the incidence of COVID-19 in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 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 Colorado where COVID-19 is slowing (and where it's still getting worse).

FIPS MSA Population Confirmed COVID-19 cases as of October 21 Confirmed COVID-19 cases as of October 21 per 100,000 residents Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of October 21 Cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of October 21 per 100,000 residents
14500 Boulder, CO 322,510 30,116 9,338.0 251 77.8
22660 Fort Collins, CO 344,786 37,829 10,971.7 298 86.4
19740 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 2,892,066 353,736 12,231.3 3,892 134.6
17820 Colorado Springs, CO 723,498 101,072 13,969.9 1,100 152.0
39380 Pueblo, CO 165,982 24,262 14,617.2 479 288.6
24540 Greeley, CO 305,345 44,959 14,724.0 434 142.1
24300 Grand Junction, CO 151,218 23,185 15,332.2 319 211.0

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