For each city or metro area, the newspaper compares last week’s number of cases to this week’s. The ranking is based on the degree of increase in cases per 100,000 people.

Athens ranked at the top of the list. The Times reports 143 cases a week ago, compared to 418 this week. That represents an increase of 511 cases per 100,000 people.

Cleveland comes in 9th. The Times reports 425 cases last week, compared to 766 this week. That represents an increase of 358 cases per 100,000 people.

The New York Times’ chart says they take the one week growth in cases, and adjust it for population size.

But despite the math, it’s a rank both Bradley County Mayor Gary Davis and Athens City Manager Seth Sumner say they dispute.

“There is zero data for the city of Athens. Zero, because it’s not collected that way. It’s collected on a metropolitan and micropolitan data set,” said Sumner who says a better way to look at a community’s growth is through the positivity rate.

However, neither official disputes the growth in cases happening across the country and in their community.

“November was definitely an increasing month. It’s not a good thing,” said Mayor Davis.