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Rural Covid-19 death rates have been higher than urban rates since July of 2020, but the disparity between the two decreased in the past month. 

During the week of September 28th, rural death rates were 92.2% higher than urban rates, but the gap shrunk to 73% the following week and 46.7% the week after that. Last week, the rural death rate was 38.9% higher than the urban death rate, the closest it’s been since the beginning of September.

Infections

Rural America reported an infection rate of 77.78 new cases per 100,000 residents last week, a total of 35,828 infections. The rate was 2% higher than the previous week. Urban rates stayed virtually the same from two weeks ago. In metropolitan counties, the case rate was 77.23 new infections per 100,000 residents, compared to 77.35 two weeks ago. Urban America reported 217,923 infections last week. 

Because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not report the number of infections detected through home testing, the actual infection rate is likely much higher. 

Deaths

The death rate in urban America was 0.73 Covid-19 deaths per 100,000 residents last week, the same as the week prior. 

While urban counties reported the same number of deaths last week as the previous week, rural America showed a decline in death rates for the fifth consecutive week. The death rate in rural America was 1.01 deaths per 100,000 residents last week, compared to 1.07 two weeks ago. Rural counties reported a total of 466 deaths, down 26 deaths from the previous week. 

Cumulatively, the rural death rate was 402.87 last week, 37% higher than the cumulative urban rate of 293.87. 

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