The coronavirus is tearing through the US at an alarming rate. Today, more than 435,000 cases have been reported, with over 14,700 deaths. Unfortunately, the estimates from top government scientists suggest that the country is only in the early stages of feeling the pandemic’s devastating effects.

They are predicting that the virus could kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans even with the best social distancing efforts. As the country heaves under the impact of the coronavirus, however, a few counties are going to be hardest hit if nothing is done speedily.

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Some of these counties have recorded less than two cases, but residents have to travel long distances to get advanced health care. With even the most equipped hospitals running out of beds, what will happen when the virus inevitably begins to spread in these counties? On the other side of the divide are counties with well-equipped hospitals that may end up being overrun as a result of the extremely high number of Covid-19 cases.

The top 10 most vulnerable among these counties are covered below with an attached CovidScore. The score takes into consideration the population of the county, the number of reported cases so far, and the number of recorded hospital beds available.

#1. Queens County, New York

With 142,384 cases recorded so far, New York is the state hardest hit by Covid-19. Queens County, with a population of 2.2 million people accounts for a massive 16% of that number—with 23,133 confirmed cases. There’s been a 4.0% lethality rate with 948 deaths so far.

The county has one recorded hospital bed for 886 inhabitants which, before now, looked like enough to take care of the fallout. However, with the progression of the virus, and the population of the county, health care resources in the area will be severely tested in the coming weeks.

Generated by Augurisk Covid-19 risk score: 100

#2. Kings, New York

With 19,702 confirmed cases, Kings County accounts for 13.8% of the total coronavirus cases in New York. Currently, 1022 of the affected patients have died—a massive 5.1% lethality rate. On paper, the county is well-equipped to handle the pandemic with one recorded hospital bed per 613 inhabitants. However, with 2.5 million residents, the existing systems are getting overwhelmed as shown by the extremely high lethality rate.

Generated by Augurisk Covid-19 risk score: 85

#3. Nassau, New York

With 15,616 cases, Nassau holds 10.9% of New York’s total Covid-19 cases—a figure that is too high for the 1.37 million residents of the county. With a 2.7% lethality rate from 433 deaths, the county’s well equipped hospitals (1 recorded hospital bed for 380 inhabitants) are struggling with the fallout of the pandemic. If the curve continues to rise, the county is vulnerable to deeper impacts from the virus.

Generated by Augurisk Covid-19 risk score: 67

#4. Crowley County, Colorado

Colorado has recorded 3,700 cases of coronavirus till date. Crowley County only has one recognized case, which unfortunately resulted in death. The patient died on the 19th of March, 2020. However, with no recorded hospital beds in the county, the 5,810 inhabitants are highly vulnerable.

Generated by Augurisk Covid-19 risk score: 64

#5. Oglethorpe, Georgia

Georgia has recorded 9,156 Covid-19 cases till death. Oglethorpe has only seen once confirmed and fatal case from that number. The case was reported on the 29th of March,2020. With no recorded hospital beds,  Covid-19 may be lethal for the  1,179 residents of the county.

Generated by Augurisk Covid-19 risk score: 64

#6. Missaukee County, Michigan

The state of Michigan currently has 10,000 cases of Covid-19. Missaukee County has only one declared case which resulted in death. Unfortunately, the population of 15,000 people does not have any recorded hospital beds. The index patient was hospitalized on the 26th of March, 2020 and died on the 27th.

Generated by Augurisk Covid-19 risk score: 64

#7. McHenry, North Dakota

North Dakota has 159 coronavirus cases presently. The McHenry County reported one declared case which resulted in a death on the 30th of March, 2020. The county’s population of 5,900 inhabitants is, however, vulnerable to Covid-19 due to the lack of recorded hospital beds in the county and the fact that the index case caught the virus via community spread. As more people get tested in the county, the lack of recorded hospital beds may begin to bite hard.

Generated by Augurisk Covid-19 risk score: 64

#8. Iron County, Wisconsin

Wisconsin has recorded 1700 Covid-19 cases so far. Iron County has recorded only one declared case that resulted in death. The index case was reported on the 26th of March, 2020. Unfortunately, there are no recorded hospital beds available for a population of nearly 6,000 residents.

Generated by Augurisk Covid-19 risk score: 64

#9. The Bronx, New York

The Bronx is often a center of attraction in New York as a result of the wide range of socioeconomic issues plaguing the county—including poverty. It is sadly not a surprise that the lethality rate from Covid-19 is very high here. Currently, the rate stands at 4.9%--14,327 cases and 709 deaths.

The county currently has one recorded hospital bed for 439 inhabitants, but it may need a lot more to reduce the death rate. With 1.4 million inhabitants, a high death rate, and 10% of New York’s Covid-19 cases, the county is vulnerable.

Generated by Augurisk Covid-19 risk score: 62

#10. Westchester, New York

Westchester’s 980,000-strong population has every reason to be worried about the impact of Covid-19 on the county. The high number of cases (14,294 so far) is a huge source of concern for everyone. Residents in hardest hit areas of the county like New Rochelle are reviewing options to slow the spread of the virus.

With one recorded hospital bed for 404 residents, the county is more prepared than most to deal with the pandemic. The death rate of 1.6% (233 deaths) is in line with the figures from other New York counties with well-equipped hospitals.

Generated by Augurisk Covid-19 risk score: 61

The risk moving forward

New York’s main counties look well-equipped to handle the pandemic so far, but as the number of cases rises, the health sector may come under heavy strain. Andrew Cuomo, the state governor, already expects ventilators to run out in a few days.

However, there's already talk to the effect that the virus has reached its peak in the New York region. The Bronx and the other New York counties with extremely high numbers of cases will certainly hope they are right as they struggle to keep the lid on existing cases.

The counties that have recorded one or two cases so far may yet come out of this crisis without losing hundreds or thousands of people, but the true picture of things will become clearer with more testing.

However, if social distancing efforts don’t yield the desired results, residents of these counties are extremely vulnerable given the apparent the lack of preparedness to deal with COVID-19 cases.

For example, the Missaukee County index case was hospitalized due to shortness of breath. A well-equipped hospital bed may have helped prevent death. As the rest of the country scrambles to prevent further devastation from the virus, these counties should not be relegated to the background.

While COVID-19 is still not a major threat to the majority of the American people, the ongoing spread of this disease is a concern to many around the country. This is what has informed our decision to implement a free Coronavirus Risk Exposure Assessment available to all of our users in the US. Register now and find out your level of risk so that you can take all the measures necessary to stay safe.