Covid Is Killing in Rural U.S. Faster Than in Big Cities

Nine months after arriving in the most densely populated parts of the U.S., the fatal effects of the coronavirus are spreading more in its remote corners.

Covid-19 is now killing in rural areas at a faster clip than anywhere else. As of last week, there were 109 cumulative deaths per 100,000 residents in “non-core” counties, the least-populated classification, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That’s higher than large central metro areas such as New York City and Seattle, which until days ago had recorded the highest death rates since the beginning of the pandemic.

Rural areas, where 46 million Americans live, are prone to outsize impacts from the virus. Compared with urban hubs, residents there are older, more likely to suffer from underlying chronic illness or disability, and their hospitals are smaller and more sparse. Many of those facilities were at risk ofclosing even before the pandemic.

Over the last week, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa reported some of the highest death rates when scaled for population. New cases were worst in Tennessee, Texas and Oklahoma.

Nationally, the U.S. posted 194,988 new Covid-19 cases, Covid Tracking Project data show. There have been at least 317,684 deaths attributed to the virus, according toJohns Hopkins University data.

According to Covid Tracking Project data:

  • Tennessee, Oklahoma and California had among the highest new cases per million people.
  • Tennessee also reported a single-day case record on Sunday.

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