The number of new Covid-19 infections fell significantly last week, resulting in rural and metropolitan counties have virtually the same rate of new infections over a seven-day period, according to a Daily Yonder analysis.

New infections in rural counties dropped by about 3% last week compared to two weeks ago, while the number of new infections in metropolitan counties fell by about 9%. Rural counties reported 107,000 new infections while metropolitan counties reported 664,000 new infections. The rate of new infections in metropolitan counties has been higher than the rural rate since early April. 

The rate of new infections is probably much higher because home testing is not generally part of data reported through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Week-to-week comparisons have more validity than comparisons to previous surges.

Covid-related deaths, a trailing indicator, jumped by 26% in rural counties last week, while metropolitan counties reported a 1.4% rise in deaths. Rural counties reported 625 deaths, up 130 from two weeks ago. Metropolitan counties reported 2,700 deaths, up 38 from two weeks ago.

The rural death rate was 42% higher than the metropolitan death rate last week. The weekly death rate has been higher in rural counties for all but one week in the last year.

The cumulative rate of deaths from Covid-19 is about 37% higher in rural counties than metropolitan ones.

This report is based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention community profile for dates August 1 - August 8th, 2022.

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