COVID-19: Provo-Orem, UT Metro Area Among The Most Dangerous In America


The U.S. reported over 289,000 new cases of coronavirus on July 20, bringing the total to more than 33.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 603,000 COVID-19-related deaths – the highest death toll of any country.

The number of new cases is increasing steadily. For the past week, there have been an average of 7.5 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans – essentially unchanged from the previous week when there were an average of 4.5 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.

While new data shows that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is high in almost every part of the country, cities continue to be the scene of major outbreaks and super-spreading events. Experts agree that the virus is more likely to spread in group settings where large numbers of people are in regular close contact with one another, such as in colleges, nursing homes, bars and restaurants. Metropolitan areas with a high degree of connectivity between different parts of the city and large populations can be particularly at risk.

The Greater Provo-Orem, UT, area consists of Utah Counties and Juab Counties. As of July 20, there were 16,504.0 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 Provo residents, the fourth highest rate of any 383 metropolitan area with data available. For comparison, the US has so far reported 10,449.4 cases per 100,000 Americans nationwide.

The frequency of coronavirus cases depends on a variety of factors and can even vary between neighboring counties. Within the Provo-Orem metropolitan area, Utah County has the highest incidence of COVID-19 cases. As of July 20, Utah County’s number of cases per 100,000 population was 16,601.6, the most common of any counties in Provo-Orem and far more than the lowest incidence county. There were 11,273.3 cases per 100,000 people in Juab County – the lowest of any Provo-Orem counties.

To slow the spread of COVID-19, city and county governments have ordered the shutdown of thousands of consumer-facing businesses. These measures have resulted in widespread job losses and record unemployment. In the Provo-Orem metropolitan area, unemployment peaked at 8.1% in April 2020. In May 2021, the unemployment rate in the metropolitan area was 2.3%.

To help determine how the incidence of COVID-19 in the greater Provo-Orem, UT area compares to the rest of the country, 24/7 Wall St. compiled and reviewed data from state and local health officials. We ranked the metropolitan areas based on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents. To estimate the incidence of COVID-19 at the metropolitan area level, we aggregated data at the county level using boundary definitions from the US Census Bureau. The population data used to adjust the case and death numbers are from the US Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey and are five-year estimates. Unemployment data are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and are seasonally adjusted.

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