Friday, October 08, 2021

New rural Covid-19 deaths and infections fell last week for first time since June, but rural rates still dwarf metro rates

New coronavirus infections, in ranges by county, Sept. 26-Oct. 2
Daily Yonder map; click the image to enlarge it or click here for the interactive version.

"For the first time since early June, both Covid-related deaths and new infections declined last week in rural counties, according to a Daily Yonder analysis. New infections in rural (nonmetropolitan) counties dropped by about 20%, to a total of 159,204. It’s the second consecutive week of declines in new infections," Tim Murphy and Tim Marema report for the Yonder. "Surprisingly, fewer Covid-related deaths were reported in rural counties last week. Deaths fell by a modest 3%, to 3,102. After previous surges, the number of Covid-related deaths continued to climb for several weeks after new infections had peaked."

The rural infection rate is still two-thirds higher than the metropolitan rate and the rural death rate is 90% higher. There are regional variations: "The rural infection rate is higher than the metro rate in 37 of the 47 states that contain nonmetropolitan counties. The rural death rate is higher in 38 states," Murphy and Marema report. Though the number of red-zone counties fell by 29, more than 90% of rural and metro counties remain in the red zone, meaning they have at least 100 new infections per 100,000 residents in one week.

Click here for an interactive county-level map, regional analysis and charts from the Yonder.

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