The rate of new Covid-19 infections remained steady last week in rural America while the number of Covid-related deaths climbed compared to two weeks ago, according to a Daily Yonder analysis.
In metropolitan counties, the number of new infections fell while deaths increased by more than 25% compared to two weeks ago.
Rural counties reported just over 65,000 new Covid infections last week, only marginally different from the number of new infections two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, the number of new infections in metropolitan counties dropped by about 8%, to 647,000.
Rural counties reported 433 Covid-related deaths last week, 67 more than two weeks ago, or an increase of 18%.
In metropolitan counties, 2,184 people died of Covid-related causes, an increase of 488 from two weeks ago.
For the 60th consecutive week, the rate of Covid-related deaths was higher in rural counties than metropolitan counties last week. Rural counties had a death rate of 0.94 per 100,000 last week, while metropolitan counties had a death rate of 0.77 per 100,000.
The cumulative death rate from Covid is a third higher in rural counties than metropolitan ones.
Infections Widespread but Less Entrenched
The national infection rate remains low compared to the record-breaking Omicron surge in late 2021 and 2022. But the number of counties in the red zone, defined as having an infection rate of at least 100 new cases per 100,000 in a week, is relatively high. Last week more than two thirds of the nation’s counties were in the red zone.
Since the end of the Omicron surge in early 2022, rural counties have been less likely to be in the red zone than metropolitan counties. The opposite was true for most of the Omicron surge. Last week, more than eight out of 10 metropolitan counties were in the red zone while only about six out of 10 rural counties were.
About This Report
The Daily Yonder's weekly analysis of Covid-19 is based on data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This week's report covers Tuesday, June 7, through Monday, June 13.
Rural is defined as counties that are not in a Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget in 2013.