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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. 5/14/2022 Evan Comen

© Provided by 24/7 Wall St. After adding over 516,000 new cases throughout the last week, the U.S. now has more than 81.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 990,000 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 20.3 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans -- essentially unchanged from the week prior, when there were an average of 16.7 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.

In the 50 largest metro areas, the incidence of coronavirus grew at an average rate of 23.5 new cases a day per 100,000 residents in the past week -- 22.6% greater than the case growth in all counties outside of metro areas.

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 11.0 new coronavirus cases every day per 100,000 Atlanta residents, less than the national figure. The metro area’s average daily case growth in the most recent week is essentially unchanged from the week prior, when there was an average of 8.9 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 Butts County. There were an average of 35.6 new cases per day per 100,000 residents in Butts County during the past week, the most of the 29 counties in Atlanta with available data.

Case growth in the Atlanta metro area varies widely at the county level. In Walton County, for example, there were an average of 0.2 new cases per day per 100,000 residents in the past week -- the least of any county in Atlanta and far more than the case growth rate in Butts County.

While Butts County is driving the growth of COVID-19 in the Atlanta area, it does not have the highest incidence of cases overall. As of May 12, there were a total of 27,135.7 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents in Butts County, the fifth most of the 29 counties in the metro area. For comparison, the U.S. has so far reported 25,031.2 cases per 100,000 Americans nationwide.

The pandemic has led to the closure of thousands of consumer-facing businesses around the country. These changes have led to widespread job loss and record unemployment. In Butts County, unemployment peaked at 11.4% in April 2020. As of June 2021, the county's unemployment rate was 4.0%.

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 May 12. 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 May 12 New daily cases per 100,000, week ending May 5 Cumulative cases per 100,000 Cumulative deaths per 100,000
1 Butts County 24,090 35.6 5.3 27,135.7 647.6
2 Fulton County 1,036,200 17.8 13.2 21,263.4 224.5
3 DeKalb County 749,323 14.0 9.6 20,146.5 231.8
4 Fayette County 112,303 12.3 11.7 20,176.7 284.1
5 Cobb County 751,218 12.1 9.8 23,361.7 240.5
6 Coweta County 143,260 11.3 8.5 23,148.1 341.3
7 Rockdale County 89,717 10.2 3.3 20,740.8 357.8
8 Gwinnett County 915,046 9.9 7.5 22,884.0 205.6
9 Clayton County 283,538 9.9 5.6 22,678.8 342.8
10 Bartow County 104,919 8.0 12.3 27,986.4 425.1
11 Douglas County 143,316 7.8 5.2 24,431.3 279.1
12 Newton County 108,079 7.7 4.5 22,849.0 421.9
13 Cherokee County 247,515 7.0 8.1 25,606.1 253.7
14 Henry County 225,356 7.0 6.7 25,765.0 304.9
15 Paulding County 159,825 6.0 9.1 23,912.4 270.3
16 Forsyth County 228,383 5.8 11.6 24,060.9 175.1
17 Morgan County 18,507 5.4 19.3 24,633.9 372.8
18 Spalding County 65,306 5.0 3.7 24,307.1 644.7
19 Lamar County 18,672 4.6 0.8 25,953.3 605.2
20 Barrow County 78,991 4.3 8.1 27,788.0 322.8
21 Jasper County 13,916 4.1 6.2 22,571.1 517.4
22 Pike County 18,327 3.1 1.6 29,743.0 534.7
23 Meriwether County 21,106 2.7 4.7 21,183.5 687.0
24 Heard County 11,736 2.4 4.9 18,507.2 443.1
25 Dawson County 24,536 2.3 5.2 28,020.1 411.6
26 Pickens County 31,387 2.3 5.0 26,526.9 532.1
27 Carroll County 117,183 2.1 2.3 20,257.2 391.7
28 Haralson County 29,227 1.5 1.5 18,496.6 591.9
29 Walton County 91,442 0.2 2.5 23,908.1 474.6

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