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The number of new Covid-19 infections in rural America remained level last week compared to two weeks ago, according to a Daily Yonder analysis.
New infections declined by about 5% compared to the previous week, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rural counties reported approximately 110,600 new infections, down 5,400 from two weeks ago.
New cases in metropolitan counties also remained relatively stable, dropping about 3% compared to two weeks ago.
The actual rate of new infections is likely much higher because of home testing, which is not generally part of CDC data. The week-to-week infection rates can still provide a sense of whether actual numbers are increasing or decreasing. But they are not useful for determining whether Covid-19 is spreading faster or slower than it did during previous surges.
The number of Covid-related deaths dropped about 18% in rural America last week. Rural (nonmetropolitan) counties reported 495 deaths from Covid-19, down from 605 two weeks ago.
The death rate increased by 8% in metropolitan counties, which reported 2,662 Covid-related deaths last week.
Death data is less susceptible to reporting anomalies than infection data.
The rural death rate was 14% slightly higher than the metropolitan death rate last week. The rural death rate has been higher than the metro rate for all but one week in the last year.
Cumulatively, the rural death rate is about a third higher than the metropolitan Covid-19 death rate.