Friday, January 08, 2021

USDA report provides an overview of the coronavirus pandemic's impact on rural America

Cumulative confirmed coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents by county on Dec. 7, 2020
(USDA map; click the image to enlarge it.)

Rural Americans have suffered economically and physically because of the coronavirus pandemic, but in some ways have fared better than city-dwellers, according to a new U.S. Department of Agriculture report about the effect of the pandemic on rural America.

Though the virus at first spread most rapidly in large cities, the rural share of Covid-19 cases and deaths increased markedly in the fall of 2020, and in November the rural infection rate passed up the urban rate. 

"By Dec. 7, the regions with the highest prevalence of Covid-19 cases included much of the Great Plains, the upper Midwest, and the Mountain West (especially the northern parts of these regions), and large parts of the South and Southwest," says the report. "Recent growth in Covid-19 prevalence has been especially rapid in the northern Great Plains and parts of the Upper Midwest and the Mountain West. Less affected areas generally include much of the Northeast, the West Coast, and Hawaii—though many exceptions are evident in these regions." Read more here.

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