In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Covid-19 hit the world’s large cities and metropolitan areas first and hardest. In the days since, we’ve seen how rural communities and small towns are not beyond the pandemic’s reach.

Whether it’s meatpacking towns in the Midwest and the plains, tourism and recreation regions in the West and northeast, the hills and hollers of the rural South, or reservations across Indian Country, each day brings more developments as rural America faces the virus. Here at the Daily Yonder we’re tracking the spread and impact of Covid-19 across rural America.

The numbers and maps on this dashboard are updated weekly. Scroll further down the page to follow our latest stories and related reporting.

The Rural Red-Zone

The Daily Yonder’s weekly red-zone report shows counties where Covid-19 is spreading at more than 500 and 100 new cases per 100,000 people over a one-week period. Counties where new cases occur at a rate of more than 100 cases per 100,000 are out of control, according to White House Coronavirus Task Force definitions. Hover and click on the map to explore data for each U.S. county.

Cases and Deaths – Running Rural Totals

The dashboard numbers below track the raw number of Covid-19 cases and deaths to-date occurring in rural counties.


Rural Covid-19 Cases
14.93% of all cases in the U.S.


Rural Covid-19 Deaths
15.49% of all Covid-19-related deaths in the U.S.

Source: USAFacts. Last Updated: January 12, 2021.

The Pandemic’s Reach in Rural America

These graphs show the rate of new infections and new deaths in rural (nonmetropolitan) counties and metropolitan counties. The rate is based on total new cases and deaths over one week (Sunday to Saturday) expressed as a total per 100,000 residents.

How States Are Faring

Use the table below to track how many rural counties in your state are currently in the red zone and how those numbers compare to other states and previous weeks. The table reflects the period Sunday, November 1, to Saturday, November 7.

The Rural Stories of Covid-19

Numbers alone don’t tell the whole story. We’re collecting our most vital reporting on coronavirus here, so you can see the people and places of the pandemic.


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Go Deeper

View our full Coronavirus Archives to review all of our reporting throughout the pandemic.