While Covid-19 infection and death rates generally dropped in rural areas last week, Mississippi reported a rural Covid-19 infection rate 67% higher than the national rural rate.
Rural America reported 53,398 new infections last week, a 13% drop and 8,244 fewer infections compared to the previous week. The infection rate was 115.92 cases per 100,000 residents. About one-third of rural counties had infection rates higher than 100 per 100,000.
The metropolitan infection rate was 94.93 cases per 100,000 residents last week, a 21% increase compared to two weeks ago. Urban communities reported 69,234 infections last week. Thirty-eight percent of urban counties had infection rates higher than 100 per 100,000.
Eleven counties had infection rates higher than 500 per 100,000. Ten out of those 11 counties were in rural areas, six of which were in Mississippi. Pontotoc County, Mississippi, had the highest rate of infections in the state last week. The county reported 286 new cases and a case rate of 889 cases per 100,000 residents, more than 600% higher than the national rural rate.
Infection rates are likely much higher because the CDC does not report cases detected through home testing.
In rural counties, 735 residents died of Covid-19 last week, a 9% decrease from the number of rural residents who died the previous week. The rate of deaths was 1.6 per 100,000 residents.
The metro death rate was 1.11 deaths per 100,000, 44% lower than the rural death rate. Urban counties reported 3,126 deaths last week, a 1.3% increase and 39 more deaths than the previous week.
The cumulative death rate in rural America was 416.32 deaths per 100,000 residents last week, 37% higher than the urban rate of 304.29 deaths per 100,000.