U.S. COVID Deaths Skyrocket in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago

Total confirmed coronavirus deaths in the U.S. have surpassed 307,700, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The average daily death toll has been climbing in recent weeks in the country's most populous cities, including New York City and Los Angeles. In Chicago, the figure has increased around three to five-fold in recent times.

The average death count in the U.S. has been rising sharply from early November, after declining from late April and flattening out from early July.

Here we look at the number of new COVID-19 deaths reported in the country's five most populous cities over the past week from December 10 to 16.

All death data below is from The New York Times, while average daily death counts reflect a seven-day average of fatalities. All population data is from the U.S. Census Bureau.

New York City, New York

Population: 8,622,357

Latest average daily death count: 93 on December 16

Total new deaths in past week: 654

  • December 10: 80
  • December 11: 79
  • December 12: 82
  • December 13: 73
  • December 14: 64
  • December 15: 140
  • December 16: 136

New York City has recorded the country's highest number of deaths per 100,000 people since January 21, when the country reported its first-ever case.

The average daily death count in New York City peaked in mid-April before declining dramatically through late June and flattening out thereafter. The figure has been rising from mid-November, when it was as low as 27 on November 15.

Los Angeles, California

Population: 4,085,014

Latest average daily death count: 83 on December 16

Total new deaths in past week: 578

  • December 10: 81
  • December 11: 72
  • December 12: 88
  • December 13: 43
  • December 14: 47
  • December 15: 87
  • December 16: 160

The average daily death toll in Los Angeles has been rising sharply since mid-November, when it was as low as 16 from November 12 to 17, after declining from late August. The figure increased from early March before flattening out from late April to late August.

Chicago, Illinois

Population: 2,670,406

Latest average daily death count: 95 on December 16

Total new deaths in past week: 662

  • December 10: 132
  • December 11: 135
  • December 12: 76
  • December 13: 56
  • December 14: 111
  • December 15: 61
  • December 16: 91

The average daily death toll in Chicago has been increasing on a steep incline from late October, when it was as low as 17 from October 24 to 27. The average count flattened out for months from early July. The figure rose sharply from late March before declining from mid-May to early July.

Houston, Texas

Population: 2,378,146

Latest average daily death count: 17 on December 16

Total new deaths in past week: 119

  • December 10: 13
  • December 11: 26
  • December 12: 21
  • December 13: 13
  • December 14: 0
  • December 15: 21
  • December 16: 25

The average daily death count in Houston has been rising since late November, after peaking in early August and declining through early October before flattening out after then. The figure remained flat from late March to early July before rising sharply through early August.

Phoenix, Arizona

Population: 1,743,469

Latest average daily death count: 41 on December 16

Total new deaths in past week: 287

  • December 10: 55
  • December 11: 41
  • December 12: 51
  • December 13: 11
  • December 14: 0
  • December 15: 38
  • December 16: 91

The average daily death toll in Phoenix has been rising sharply from late November, after declining from late July and flattening out from mid-October. The figure remained flat from late March to mid-June before increasing sharply through late July.

Brooklyn NYC hospital patient December 2020
Medical workers transporting a patient at a Brooklyn hospital in New York City on December 15. New York City is among the country's five most populous cities that have seen a rise in COVID-19 deaths in recent weeks. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The wider picture

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 74.4 million people, including over 17 million in the U.S., since it was first reported in Wuhan, China.

More than 1.6 million people have died worldwide and over 42.1 million have recovered as of Thursday, according to John Hopkins University.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, shows the countries with the highest COVID-19 death tolls.

COVID-19 elderly patients in U.S.
STATISTA

The graphic below, provided by Statista, shows the percentage of adults in the U.S. who would or would not get a COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID vaccine hesitancy in U.S.
STATISTA