Rural Counties Face 5th Straight Week of Record Number of COVID-19 Deaths

December 11, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified December 22, 2020

According to this article by The Daily Yonder, the number of people from rural counties who died from COVID-19-related causes in a one-week period topped 3,000 for the first time last week, marking the fifth consecutive week of a record-setting number of fatalities. Unfortunately, rural counties broke another record last week for the number of counties in the red zone, defined as 100 new cases per week per 100,000 residents. 94% of rural counties (1,857 out of 1,976) surpassed that threshold last week.

A few other statistics shared by The Daily Yonder are as follows:

  • Rural counties reported 3,613 Covid-related deaths last week, an increase of 34% from the previous week, which also set a record for fatalities. 
  • Cumulatively, 38,172 rural Americans have died from the virus, representing just under 14% of all Covid-related deaths in the U.S. Rural residents (defined here as people living in nonmetropolitan counties) represents just over 14% of the U.S. population.
  • The number of new infections was 211,960 last week, an increase of about 7% from the previous week. The record for new cases in rural counties (216,045) was set three weeks ago, just before Thanksgiving. 
  • Cumulatively, more than 2.2 million rural residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, representing 15.6% of all infections in the U.S. 
  • Although the rate of new infections continued to be worst in the Midwest, Great Plains, and Mountain West, all but a handful of U.S. counties (urban and rural) are in the red zone. 
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