|New coronavirus infections, in ranges by county, July 4-10|
Daily Yonder map; click the image to enlarge it or click here for the interactive version
Driven by outbreaks of the Delta variant, new rural coronavirus infections over the week of July 4-10 rose more than 25 percent over the week before, while the number of rural red-zone counties jumped more than 50%, Tim Murphy and Tim Marema report for The Daily Yonder. The government defines red zones as those with more than 100 new infections per 100,000 residents in a week
Missouri and Arkansas are at the epicenter of the uptick. "Missouri’s statewide rate of new infections grew by about two-thirds last week. The new-infection rate in rural counties was 10% higher than in metropolitan counties. The same was true in Arkansas, where new cases grew by nearly 50% last week," Murphy and Marema report. "Two thirds of Arkansas’ 26 rural counties were in the red zone last week."
Covid-related deaths, a lagging indicator of the pandemic, "fell for the sixth consecutive week, dropping by about 13% to 282, the lowest number in more than a year," Murphy and Marema report. "Deaths from Covid-19 lag several weeks behind upticks in infections, so the drop in deaths last week reflects the decline in Covid infections that occurred in late spring and early summer. New Covid-19 infections fell for eight out of nine weeks in May and June."
Click here for more charts, regional analysis, and an interactive county-level map from the Yonder.