Kansas – The U.S. has reported more than 27,000,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Feb. 15. There have been more than 470,000 reported deaths from COVID-19-related causes — the highest death toll of any country.
The extent of the spread of the novel coronavirus continues to vary considerably from state to state, and from city to city. Even as the number of daily new cases is flattening or even declining in some parts of the country, it is surging at a growing rate in others.
Nationwide, the number of new cases is growing at a slowing rate. There were an average of 31.1 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans in the week ending Feb. 15, a decrease from the week prior, when there were an average of 43.5 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.
In Kansas, there were an average of 30.1 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents in the week ending Feb. 15 — the 21st most of all 50 states. Kansas’s most recent case growth is essentially unchanged from the week prior, when there were an average of 33.0 daily new cases per 100,000 residents.
Metropolitan areas with a high degree of mobility and a large population may be particularly vulnerable to outbreaks. While science and medical professionals are still studying how exactly the virus spreads, experts agree that outbreaks are more likely to occur in group settings where large numbers of people routinely have close contact with one another. Cities with high concentrations of dense spaces such as colleges, correctional facilities, and nursing homes are particularly at risk.
In the Wichita metropolitan area, there were an average of 30.3 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents in the week ending Feb. 15 — the fastest case growth of any city in Kansas. The metro area’s most recent case growth rate is a decrease from the week prior, when there were an average of 41.1 daily new cases per 100,000 residents.
Topeka, the city where COVID-19 is growing the second fastest, has reported an average of 25.4 new daily cases per 100,000 residents.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Wichita metropolitan area has reported a cumulative total of 65,080 confirmed cases, or 10,228.0 per 100,000 residents. By comparison, there are currently 9,872.9 cases per 100,000 Kansas residents and 8,363.2 cases per 100,000 Americans nationwide.
In order to slow the spread, cities have ordered the closure of thousands of consumer-facing businesses. These measures have led to widespread job loss and record unemployment. In Wichita, unemployment peaked at 18.2% in April 2020. As of December 2020, the unemployment rate was 4.7%.
To determine the metropolitan area in each state where COVID-19 is growing the fastest, 24/7 Wall St. compiled and reviewed data from state and local health departments. We ranked metropolitan areas according to the average number of new daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the seven days ending Feb. 15. Data was aggregated from the county level to the metropolitan area 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 2018 American Community Survey and are five-year estimates. Unemployment data is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is seasonally adjusted.
MSA Population New daily cases per 100,000, week ending Feb. 15 New daily cases per 100,000, week ending Feb. 8 Cumulative cases per 100,000 Cumulative deaths per 100,000
Wichita, KS 636,295 30.3 41.1 10,228.0 0.0
Topeka, KS 233,260 25.4 32.4 8,887.1 0.0
Manhattan, KS 133,736 23.1 30.0 6,966.7 0.0
Lawrence, KS 119,319 17.6 19.4 6,798.6 0.0
These are all the counties in Kansas where COVID-19 is slowing (and where it’s still getting worse).