Monday, October 04, 2021

Rural Covid death rate spikes to more than twice urban rate

University of Iowa College of Public Health graph, adapted by The Rural Blog
Rural deaths from Covid-19 have spiked to the point that the latest rural death rate is twice that of the overall rate in metropolitan areas, according to a report from the Rural Policy Research Institute.

Fred Ullrich and Keith Mueller of the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa tracked Covid-19 mortality rates from the beginning of the pandemic and found that counties outside metro areas began showing higher rates in June, with a wider separation beginning in August.

Over the course of the pandemic, the non-metro mortality rate, 231 deaths per 100,000 residents, has been only moderately higher than the metro rate, 195 per 100,000, Ullrich and Miller report.

The researchers also tracked the rates in micropolitan areas, which are outside metros but have cities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000. Their death rates were usually about the same as those in rural areas until last month, when the rural rate clearly exceeded it.

Ullrich and Mueller's report also tracks the rate of new cases since the start of the pandemic. It shows that on Sept. 15, the seven-day average of new cases in metro areas was 43.3 per 100,000 residents, and in non-metro areas (rural and micropolitan) it was 66.8 per 100,000.

The overall non-metro vaccination rate is 41.4 percent, while the metro rate is 53.3%.

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