Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Rural counties break virus-case record for 6th straight week

New coronavirus infections by county, Oct. 25-31
Daily Yonder map; click the image to enlarge it or click here for the interactive version.

The coronavirus pandemic "continued its rapid spread in rural America last week, setting a record for new infections for the sixth consecutive week and placing three out of every four rural counties on the red-zone list," Tim Murphy and Tim Marema report for The Daily Yonder. New infections reached 110,130 for the week of Sunday to Saturday, October 25-31, an increase of 16% from the previous week. An additional 154 rural counties were added to the red-zone list last week, bringing the total to record high of 1,502."

The White House Coronavirus Task Force defines red-zone counties as those with at least 100 new infections per 100,000 people in a week.

"October has been the worst month so far for the spread of covid-19 in rural counties," Murphy and Marema report. "Covid-related deaths totaled 5,950 in rural counties during the month, an increase of 30 percent from September. During the same period, deaths in medium and large metropolitan areas declined by 11%."

Coronavirus-related deaths fell slightly last week from 1,558 to 1,535. A disproportionate number of those deaths, and new infections, are rural. "Although about 14% of the U.S. population lives in nonmetropolitan counties (which is the definition of rural this story is using), 20.5% of the new cases and 24.3% of the new deaths occurred in rural areas," Murphy and Marema report.

Click here for more data and insights, including an interactive map showing the latest county-level data.

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