After adding over 561,000 new cases throughout the last week, the U.S. now has more than 77.9 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 930,000 COVID-19-related deaths — the highest death toll of any country.
New cases continue to rise, albeit at a slowing rate. In the past week, there were an average of 31.4 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans — a decrease from the week prior, when there were an average of 60.3 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 21.4 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 a decrease from the week prior, when there was an average of 40.2 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 Forsyth County. There were an average of 43.6 new cases per day per 100,000 residents in Forsyth 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 Butts County, for example, there were an average of 12.7 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 Forsyth County.
While Forsyth County is driving the growth of COVID-19 in the Atlanta area, it does not have the highest incidence of cases overall. As of February 24, there were a total of 23,478.1 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents in Forsyth County, the 15th most of the 29 counties in the metro area. For comparison, the U.S. has so far reported 24,014.4 cases per 100,000 Americans nationwide.