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The number of new Covid-19 infections in rural America has climbed for a fourth consecutive week but remains at its lowest level since the summer 2021, according to a Daily Yonder analysis.
In metropolitan counties, new cases rose at a slightly higher pace. The rate of new infections in urban areas is currently twice that of rural counties.
Rural counties reported 33,300 new infections last week, an increase of 16% from two weeks ago. Over the past month, the weekly rate of new infections has doubled from about 36 new cases per 100,000 to 72 new infections per 100,000.
Metropolitan counties reported 396,000 new infections last week, an increase of 18% from two weeks ago. In the past month, the metropolitan weekly infection rate has grown 80%.
Meanwhile, the number of Covid-related deaths dropped by nearly a third last week in rural America, while remaining steady in metropolitan areas.
Covid-related deaths totaled 476 last week in rural counties, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In metropolitan counties, 1,989 people died from Covid-related causes.
The rural death rate remained higher than the metropolitan death rate last week, a trend that has persisted for more than a year. Cumulatively, the rural death rate from Covid-19 is a third higher than the metropolitan rate. A total of 173,800 rural residents have died from Covid-19. In metropolitan counties, 777,500 people have died.