Monday, June 08, 2020

The Spread of Covid-19 in Rural America

Around the world rates of coronavirus seem to be often tied very closely to population density. It makes sense that in urban centers, where people live close together and travel on crowded public transit systems, a virus like Covid-19 is more easily able to spread.

It is surprising then that in the USA "Of the 100 counties nationally with the highest infection rates for May, three quarters were rural". The Daily Yonder has mapped out the number of new cases of Covid-19 in non-metro counties in May. The map shows that many rural counties are among the least affected counties from the coronavirus in the country. However some rural counties are strangely seeing very high level rates of infection.

The Daily Yonder says that many of the counties with no new cases of Covid-19 in May were in the Great Plains and the intermountain West. The Daily Yonder says that many of the rural counties which have seen a large increase in the rate of Covid-19 infections are in "Indian Country", or are linked to prisons, meat packing and nursing homes. These factors aren't plotted on the Daily Yonder map so it is hard to confirm this analysis without further research - however this does seem to tally with other reports of hot-spots of Covid-19 in meat packing plants, prisons and nursing homes.

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