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COVID-19 is killing Americans in rural areas at twice the rate of those in urban areas

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 11:48 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 1, 2021 at 12:04 AM EDT
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(Gray News) - A study published in September found that the rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths in rural areas are greater than those being observed in urban areas.

The study from the Rural Policy Research Institute’s Center for Rural Health Policy also found that Americans in rural areas are dying of COVID-19 at twice the rate of Americans in urban areas.

It noted that in the beginning of the pandemic, the initial surges of virus cases were mostly concentrated in urban areas but that surges in virus cases after that increased in both rural and urban areas of the country.

“However, it was at that time that nonmetropolitan incidence and mortality rates surpassed those in metropolitan areas. Both rates were higher in nonmetropolitan areas during the third surge until its peak in January 2021,” the study read. “Incidence and mortality rates are currently much higher in nonmetropolitan counties than those in metropolitan counties.”

As of Sept. 15, metropolitan areas were seeing a seven-day average death rate of 0.41, while rural areas have an average death rate of 0.85, according to the study. Also, the seven-day average in rural areas is 66.8 confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000, while in urban areas, it is around 43.3 cases per 100,000.

The study noted that COVID-19 cases and mortality rates sharply dropped after the winter of 2020 until March, when there was a two- to three-month plateau. In July, cases begin to rapidly increase.

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