Visualizing The COVID-19 Pandemic In Iowa By County

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow in Iowa, Iowa Starting Line took a look at the data to see how the cases have grown by county in the state. Below shows the growth of cases in some of the hardest-hit counties. The outbreak in Iowa started in Johnson County, and while cases in that county have grown relatively steadily, the growth in other counties like Polk and Linn increased faster later on in the timeline.

In order to more clearly see this data, we have broken down the state into three different regions, to show the increase of cases.

In Central Iowa, Tama County saw a quick rise in April. There’s confirmed outbreaks both at a nursing home in Toledo and a meat packing plant in Tama.

Southeast Iowa is getting hit particularly hard by the virus’ spread. In the last week, 49% of new coronavirus cases in Iowa came from what the state has designated Region 5, which covers Johnson and Scott counties, as well as most of Southeast Iowa. Here’s how those places are playing out:

In other parts of Eastern Iowa, Linn County has the most cases of any county in Iowa. Black Hawk County had smaller numbers early on, but has recently jumped up quickly. Allamakee County in the northeast corner of Iowa had one of the first rural outbreaks in the state.

In addition, it is interesting to see how these cases have spread per capita in different counties. The graph below shows how serious the spread can hit certain counties, especially smaller, rural ones like Louisa and Tama. These are calculated in by cases per 100,000 residents.

Finally, the map below shows the increase in counties as the pandemic expands into more rural counties (you may need to click on the map to get it to change over time). This map starts on April 1.


by Adam Henderson
Posted 4/13/20

1 Comment on "Visualizing The COVID-19 Pandemic In Iowa By County"

  • Thanks for doing this – but for the future, PLEASE don’t do gifs or let them only move if clicked. At the very least, give me the option to make them stop. It may be educational to see how scary exponential growth is – but that goal may be better accomplished by this video of the chessboard with 1 grain of rice, then 2, 4, 8, 16 – and the camera pans out, opening a view on a mountain of rice, you can’t even see more than half of the chessboard.

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