Rural America took the lead in Covid-19 infection and death rates last week after a week of decline, and the rural South fared significantly worse than other nonmetropolitan counties.
Rural America reported 71,845 new infections last week, a 65% increase and 28,346 more cases than the previous week. The case rate was 156 new cases per 100,000 residents. About half of rural counties had case rates higher than 100 per 100,000 residents.
The infection rate in rural southern counties was 60% higher than the national rural rate and 82% higher than the national urban rate last week. The case rate in the rural South was 250.13 cases per 100,000 last week, reporting 18,420 infections.
There were 387,339 new infections in urban areas last week, where the infection rate was 137.27 cases per 100,000, a 13% increase from the previous week. Sixty percent of urban counties had case rates higher than 100 cases per 100,000 residents.
Infection rates are likely much higher because the CDC does not record cases detected through home testing.
Rural America reported 421 deaths last week, 38% more deaths than 306 reported the previous week. The weekly rural death rate was 0.9 deaths per 100,000 residents.
Urban counties reported 2,245 deaths last week, a 5.5% increase from the 2,127 reported the previous week. The weekly urban death rate was 0.8 deaths per 100,000.
The cumulative death rate in rural America was 412.98 last week and remains 37% higher than the cumulative urban rate of 302.09 deaths per 100,000.