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The number of new Covid-19 infections in rural America increased for the first time in three weeks last week. Meanwhile, new infections fell in metropolitan counties, increasing the gap between rural and metro infection rates for the third consecutive week.

The number of Covid-related deaths increased in both rural and metropolitan counties last week.

Infections

Rural America reported almost 4,000 more infections last week compared to two weeks ago, an increase of  3.7%. This was the first increase in infections since the week of July 25. The rural infection rate last week was 228.01 new infections per 100,000 residents.

Metropolitan counties saw a 5.6% decrease in infection rates, reporting approximately 500,000 cases last week, compared to approximately 536,000 two weeks ago. The metropolitan infection rate was 179.45 new infections per 100,000 residents.

The rural infection rate was 27% higher than the metropolitan rate last week, compared to 16% higher two weeks ago and 7% three weeks ago.

The actual rate of new infections is probably much higher because the CDC does not track the number of infections detected through home testing. 

Deaths

After decreasing for three weeks, rural deaths increased by nearly 10%. Rural counties reported 614 Covid-related deaths, increasing the death rate to 1.33 deaths per 100,000 residents.  

Metropolitan counties also saw an increase in death rates. The death rate in urban America increased 7.8%  to .98 deaths per 100,000 residents. 

The weekly rural death rate is 36.6% higher than the metropolitan death rate. 

Cumulatively, the rural death rate increased to 393.76 while the metropolitan rate increased to 288.04 per 100,000 residents. 

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