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Five Ways to Follow the Coronavirus Outbreak for Any Metro Area in the U.S.

For the nation as a whole, cases and deaths appear to have peaked or are starting to flatten. But there is a lot of regional variation.

To help provide a detailed picture of the past, present and future of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, here are five ways of thinking about it in hundreds of metro areas across the country, using data compiled by The New York Times. This page will be updated regularly.

1. The Big Picture: New Cases and Deaths

The simplest way to track the progress of an outbreak is by seeing how many new cases and deaths are reported in a given area each day. For the United States as a whole, these counts appear to have peaked or are starting to flatten:

New cases per day

United States

0
10,000
20,000
30,000 cases
Mar. 1
Apr. 23
7-day average
New cases

New deaths per day

United States

0
1,000
2,000 deaths
Mar. 1
Apr. 23
7-day average
New deaths

Use the search box below to see this relationship for any metropolitan area in the U.S., here or in any of the tables below. (We’ve set it to the New York City area by default.)

New cases per day

New York City area

0
5,000
10,000
15,000 cases
Mar. 1
Apr. 23
7-day average
New cases

New deaths per day

New York City area

0
500
1,000
1,500 deaths
Mar. 1
Apr. 23
7-day average
New deaths
Metro and micropolitan areas are bigger than just the city limits of a given place — they often include the surrounding suburbs and exurbs.

2. Where the Outbreak Is Worst Now

The metro areas with the most recent cases and deaths, relative to their population, in the last two weeks:

New cases, last two weeks

Metro or micro area Growth in cases Recent cases Per 1,000
1 Marion, Ohio flattening 2,127 32.59
2 Grand Island, Neb. still growing 667 7.84
3 Pine Bluff, Ark. still growing 674 7.53
4 Gallup, N.M. still growing 526 7.28
5 New York City area flat or decreasing 135,544 6.78
6 Sioux Falls, S.D. flat or decreasing 1,443 5.43
7 Fairfield County, Conn. flat or decreasing 5,047 5.35
8 Boston still growing 23,177 4.75
9 Trenton-Princeton, N.J. flat or decreasing 1,709 4.62
10 New Haven, Conn. flattening 3,903 4.55
11 Goldsboro, N.C. flat or decreasing 551 4.47
12 Albany, Ga. flat or decreasing 590 3.86
13 Reading, Pa. flat or decreasing 1,619 3.85
14 Gainesville, Ga. flattening 749 3.71
15 Providence, R.I. still growing 5,875 3.62
0.5
1
2.5
5
10
20

New deaths, last two weeks

Metro or micro area Growth in deaths Recent deaths Per 1,000
1 New York City area flat or decreasing 11,088 0.55
2 Fairfield County, Conn. still growing 459 0.49
3 Hartford, Conn. still growing 489 0.41
4 Albany, Ga. flat or decreasing 55 0.36
5 Springfield, Mass. still growing 224 0.35
6 New Orleans flat or decreasing 449 0.35
7 New Haven, Conn. still growing 298 0.35
8 Detroit flat or decreasing 1,481 0.34
9 Opelousas, La. still growing 28 0.34
10 Trenton-Princeton, N.J. flat or decreasing 124 0.34
11 Boston still growing 1,483 0.30
12 Torrington, Conn. flattening 53 0.29
13 Grand Island, Neb. still growing 20 0.24
14 Flint, Mich. flat or decreasing 94 0.23
15 Farmington, N.M. still growing 27 0.22
0.025
0.05
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
Limited to areas with at least 50,000 people. “Flattening” means that the number of new cases is still increasing, but the rate of growth is slowing.

Here, we’ve limited the window of cases to those within the last two weeks. Scaling those cases by the population of the area can help give a sense of the prevalence of the illness there and how strained a community’s health care system may be. Places with curves that are “flattening” or “flat” are likely to move down this list over time; those where new cases and deaths continue to increase are on track to move up. (Of course, case counts are subject to variable rates of testing — cases could fall in places simply because fewer tests are being done — so moderate changes in rankings on these tables may not always be meaningful.)

3. Where Outbreaks Might Come Next

The virus has begun cropping up in new places as it spreads across the country. To identify places that could flare up next, it’s helpful to look not just at the number of cases but how fast they are rising.

Highest avg. daily growth rate of cases

Metro or micro area Recent cases Daily growth rate cases double every...
1 Sioux City, Iowa 355 80% 1.2 days
2 Marion, Ohio 2,127 58% 1.5 days
3 Pine Bluff, Ark. 674 38% 2.2 days
4 Waterloo-Ced.Falls, Iowa 534 36% 2.3 days
5 Green Bay, Wis. 560 32% 2.5 days
6 Goldsboro, N.C. 551 22% 3.5 days
7 Amarillo, Texas 305 17% 4.4 days
8 Albertville, Ala. 186 16% 4.8 days
9 Bowling Green, Ky. 246 15% 4.9 days
10 Rockford, Ill. 255 15% 5.0 days
11 Des Moines, Iowa 501 15% 5.0 days
12 Gallup, N.M. 526 15% 5.1 days
13 Grand Rapids, Mich. 792 14% 5.2 days
14 Columbus, Ohio 2,703 14% 5.2 days
15 Kalamazoo-Portage, Mich. 203 13% 5.7 days
156 New York City area 135,544 3% 24.9 days
1
2
3
4
7
30

Highest avg. daily growth rate of deaths

Metro or micro area Recent deaths Daily growth rate deaths double every...
1 Grand Island, Neb. 20 43% 1.9 days
2 Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C. 20 31% 2.6 days
3 Reading, Pa. 75 22% 3.4 days
4 Virginia Beach 39 21% 3.6 days
5 Richmond, Va. 100 19% 3.9 days
6 Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pa. 23 19% 4.0 days
7 Norwich-New London, Conn. 16 19% 4.1 days
8 Washington, D.C. 411 17% 4.5 days
9 Toledo, Ohio 50 16% 4.6 days
10 Minneapolis-St.Paul 136 16% 4.6 days
11 Des Moines, Iowa 18 16% 4.8 days
12 Raleigh, N.C. 30 15% 4.9 days
13 Scranton Wilkes-Barre, Pa. 92 15% 5.1 days
14 Syracuse, N.Y. 20 14% 5.2 days
15 Kankakee, Ill. 16 14% 5.2 days
91 New York City area 11,088 5% 14.9 days
1
2
3
4
7
30
Growth rates are averaged over the previous week. Limited to areas with more than 250 cases and 50,000 people. The table showing the average daily growth of the death rate is limited to areas with more than 20 deaths.

Growth rates are useful measures in epidemics because they tell us whether things are getting better or worse. In places where the growth rate is high but the number of cases is relatively low, a community may still have time to flatten its curve before an outbreak becomes widespread.

Communities with a lot of cases and a high growth rate are on track to have a serious problem. A high growth rate on top of a large number of cases means that a still larger number of people are on track to become ill or die.

4. Where There May Be Good News Ahead

Here, the metro areas where new cases and deaths have decreased the most, on a population-adjusted basis, in the last week:

Where new cases are decreasing most

Metro or micro area A week ago Now Change per 100k
1 Albany, Ga. 1,111 590 -341
2 New Orleans 6,916 3,048 -304
3 New York City area 169,003 135,544 -167
4 East Stroudsburg, Pa. 532 285 -146
5 Hammond, La. 380 203 -132
6 Edwards, Colo. 149 80 -125
7 Scranton Wilkes-Barre, Pa. 1,673 996 -122
8 Houma, La. 548 300 -119
9 Shreveport, La. 1,128 636 -113
10 Detroit 13,519 9,517 -92.5
11 Allentown, Pa. 2,833 2,087 -88.5
12 Oxford, N.C. 86 34 -86.5
13 Baton Rouge, La. 1,815 1,151 -79.9
14 Burlington, Vt. 249 82 -75.5
15 Kankakee, Ill. 192 130 -56.4
-500
-250
0
250
500

Where new deaths are decreasing most

Metro or micro area A week ago Now Change per 100k
1 Albany, Ga. 84 55 -19.0
2 Pittsfield, Mass. 19 9 -7.9
3 New York City area 12,553 11,088 -7.3
4 Greenfield Town, Mass. 14 9 -7.0
5 Bellingham, Wash. 16 4 -5.3
6 Kennewick, Wash. 24 16 -2.7
7 Indianapolis 260 211 -2.4
8 New Orleans 478 449 -2.3
9 Burlington, Vt. 19 15 -1.8
10 Lafayette, La. 32 24 -1.6
11 Shreveport, La. 63 56 -1.6
12 Yakima, Wash. 27 23 -1.6
13 Milwaukee 107 83 -1.5
14 Hammond, La. 17 15 -1.5
15 Manchester-Nashua, N.H. 18 13 -1.2
-5
-2.5
0
2.5
5
Limited to areas with at least 100 cases and 50,000 people. Figures are sorted by the difference between the number of cases or deaths in the two weeks ending seven days ago compared with the last two weeks. The table showing the change in the number of deaths is limited to areas with more than 20 deaths.

The places on this list are not necessarily those where the outbreak is no longer severe. But sustained decreases in new cases and deaths are signs that a place is going in the right direction.

5. The Places Hit Hardest

Below, the metro areas that have had the highest cumulative case and death rates since the start of the outbreak:

Cumulative confirmed cases

Metro or micro area Population cases Per 1,000
1 Marion, Ohio 65,256 2,169 33.24
2 New York City area 20.0 mil. 349,474 17.49
3 Albany, Ga. 153,009 2,084 13.62
4 New Orleans 1.3 mil. 15,517 12.21
5 Fairfield County, Conn. 943,823 10,227 10.84
6 Grand Island, Neb. 85,088 807 9.48
7 Edwards, Colo. 54,993 506 9.20
8 Gallup, N.M. 72,290 639 8.84
9 Pine Bluff, Ark. 89,515 782 8.74
10 Trenton-Princeton, N.J. 369,811 2,991 8.09
11 Boston 4.9 mil. 39,079 8.02
12 New Haven, Conn. 857,620 6,286 7.33
13 Sioux Falls, S.D. 265,653 1,840 6.93
14 Detroit 4.3 mil. 28,002 6.47
15 East Stroudsburg, Pa. 169,507 1,037 6.12
0.5
1
2.5
5
10
20

Cumulative confirmed deaths

Metro or micro area Population deaths Per 1,000
1 New York City area 20.0 mil. 20,569 1.03
2 Albany, Ga. 153,009 154 1.01
3 New Orleans 1.3 mil. 953 0.75
4 Fairfield County, Conn. 943,823 662 0.70
5 Detroit 4.3 mil. 2,582 0.60
6 Hartford, Conn. 1.2 mil. 608 0.50
7 Springfield, Mass. 631,761 316 0.50
8 New Haven, Conn. 857,620 396 0.46
9 Trenton-Princeton, N.J. 369,811 163 0.44
10 Greenfield Town, Mass. 70,963 31 0.44
11 Opelousas, La. 82,764 34 0.41
12 Boston 4.9 mil. 1,859 0.38
13 Torrington, Conn. 181,111 69 0.38
14 Flint, Mich. 406,892 151 0.37
15 Houma, La. 209,136 60 0.29
0.025
0.05
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
Limited to areas with at least 50,000 people.

As the pandemic progresses, the number of cases and deaths per capita can provide a good measure of the prevalence of coronavirus in a community, even if the deadliest period of the outbreak has passed, as it may have in places like Seattle, New York and New Orleans.

There are other measurements that would be helpful in understanding the progress of the epidemic in different places, such as the number of new hospitalizations, the number of tests administered or the number of people showing any symptoms of respiratory illness. But confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths, however incomplete, are the most useful daily statistics currently available at a local level everywhere in the country.