Friday, January 07, 2022

New coronavirus infections in rural areas up 72% last week

New coronavirus infections, in ranges by county, Dec. 26 to Jan. 1
Map by The Daily Yonder; click the image to enlarge it or click here for the interactive version.

The highly contagious Omicron variant began ramping up in rural areas during the week of Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. "New infections in metropolitan counties have jumped 250% since mid-December while rural counties have seen a smaller increase of about 50%. But the gap between metropolitan and rural counties is narrowing. Rural infections grew 72% last week, versus an increase of 120% in metropolitan counties," Tim Marema reports for The Daily Yonder. "The metropolitan surge has pushed the urban infection rate to more than twice that of rural counties. That reverses the trend established during the Delta surge, when rural residents were becoming infected at a faster rate than metropolitan residents."

However, the number of Covid-related deaths fell by 25% in rural areas last week, compared to a 9% decrease in metropolitan counties. "Despite the relative improvement, the rural death rate from Covid remained 74% higher than the metropolitan rate last week, the smallest gap since early August," Marema reports.

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

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