Wednesday, August 19, 2020

New rural coronavirus cases down a little over past 2 weeks but deaths up more than 20%; see county-level data

Daily Yonder map, adapted by The Rural Blog; click the image to enlarge it or click here for the interactive version.
"Despite tentative indications that the current wave of the pandemic might be cresting in rural America, covid-19 continued last week to dig into the rural counties that were already bearing the brunt of the pandemic," Tim Murphy and Tim Marema report for The Daily Yonder. "These 'red zone' communities, while containing less than half of the nation’s rural population, accounted for three-quarters of the new cases and deaths originating in rural counties last week." Red zones are defined by a White House task force as counties with at least 100 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the reporting week, or 1 per 1,000.

The Yonder analyzed new covid-19 infections in nonmetropolitan counties during the week of Aug. 1-7 and compared them with new infections during the week of Aug. 8-14. During that time, new cases in rural America fell 2.9 percent, from 53,500 to about 52,000, Murphy and Marema report. But during that same time period, rural covid-19 deaths grew by 22%, from 1,023 to 1,248.

"The number of rural counties on the red-zone list climbed by four last week, to 738, after dropping from a high of 746 three weeks ago," Murphy and Marema report. "The pandemic also showed signs of deepening in these hard-hit counties. The number of new infections in rural red-zone counties increased by 4% in the last week, from 38,800 two weeks ago to 40,300 last week."

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