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These Are the Counties In the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA Metro Area Where COVID-19 Is Growing the Fastest

24/7 Wall St. logo 24/7 Wall St. 9/27/2021 Evan Comen

© Provided by 24/7 Wall St. After adding over 934,000 new cases throughout the last week, the U.S. now has more than 42.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 670,000 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 45.1 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans -- essentially unchanged from the week prior, when there were an average of 49.5 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.

While COVID-19 has spread to nearly every part of the country, cities continue to be the sites of major outbreaks. 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 neighborhoods and a large population may be particularly at-risk.

The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA, metro area consists of Fulton County, Gwinnett County, DeKalb County, and 26 other counties. In the past week, there were an average of 49.0 new coronavirus cases every day per 100,000 Atlanta residents, in line with the national figure. The metro area’s average daily case growth in the most recent week is a decrease from the week prior, when there was an average of 63.4 daily new cases per 100,000 Atlanta residents.

The spread of coronavirus depends on a variety of factors and can vary even between neighboring counties. Within the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta metro area, COVID-19 is growing the fastest in Pickens County. There were an average of 99.9 new cases per day per 100,000 residents in Pickens County during the past week, the most of the 29 counties in Atlanta with available data.

Case growth in the Atlanta metro area varies at the county level. In DeKalb County, for example, there were an average of 37.7 new cases per day per 100,000 residents in the past week -- the least of any county in Atlanta and more than the case growth rate in Pickens County.

While Pickens County is driving the growth of COVID-19 in the Atlanta area, it does not have the highest incidence of cases overall. As of September 23, there were a total of 16,287.0 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents in Pickens County, the eighth most of the 29 counties in the metro area. For comparison, the U.S. has so far reported 12,985.5 cases per 100,000 Americans nationwide.

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 Pickens County, unemployment peaked at 10.4% in April 2020. As of June 2021, the county's unemployment rate was 3.1%.

To determine the county in every metropolitan area where COVID-19 is growing the fastest, 24/7 Wall St. compiled and reviewed data from state and local health departments. We ranked counties according to the average number of new daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the seven days ending September 23. To estimate the incidence of COVID-19 at the metropolitan level, we aggregated data up 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 not seasonally adjusted.

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

Rank in MSA County Population New daily cases per 100,000, week ending September. 23 New daily cases per 100,000, week ending September. 16 Cumulative cases per 100,000 Cumulative deaths per 100,000
1 Pickens County 31,387 99.9 127.4 16,287.0 302.7
2 Dawson County 24,536 95.4 149.1 18,006.2 224.2
3 Pike County 18,327 93.5 145.3 19,703.2 294.6
4 Spalding County 65,306 82.5 112.4 14,911.3 364.4
5 Forsyth County 228,383 77.8 88.1 13,853.0 99.8
6 Bartow County 104,919 77.4 93.4 18,424.7 288.8
7 Lamar County 18,672 74.8 84.4 17,341.5 407.0
8 Barrow County 78,991 73.9 100.5 17,400.7 217.7
9 Morgan County 18,507 67.0 56.2 15,842.7 183.7
10 Jasper County 13,916 66.3 89.3 14,680.9 352.1
11 Butts County 24,090 64.7 102.8 18,165.2 390.2
12 Walton County 91,442 63.9 81.8 15,547.6 317.1
13 Paulding County 159,825 62.3 99.5 14,844.4 177.1
14 Cherokee County 247,515 61.5 83.0 16,722.6 159.2
15 Douglas County 143,316 59.0 83.1 14,692.7 180.7
16 Meriwether County 21,106 58.8 63.1 13,460.6 464.3
17 Henry County 225,356 56.3 79.1 15,948.1 177.9
18 Haralson County 29,227 55.4 74.6 12,300.3 342.1
19 Newton County 108,079 50.8 68.9 14,183.1 278.5
20 Heard County 11,736 50.3 77.6 12,091.0 247.1
21 Coweta County 143,260 50.2 76.0 13,719.8 197.5
22 Carroll County 117,183 50.1 72.0 13,417.5 234.7
23 Clayton County 283,538 49.6 56.8 13,020.8 215.5
24 Rockdale County 89,717 48.4 60.7 11,924.2 227.4
25 Cobb County 751,218 46.3 61.7 13,754.2 165.5
26 Fayette County 112,303 42.3 53.7 11,140.4 180.8
27 Gwinnett County 915,046 41.3 48.3 13,593.7 142.9
28 Fulton County 1,036,200 38.5 48.7 12,143.3 154.4
29 DeKalb County 749,323 37.7 49.0 11,427.9 156.3

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