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The number of new Covid-19 infections in rural America fell by 5% in last week. New infections in metropolitan counties fell by 12%. The relative difference in the decline in infections means that the rural infection rate exceeded the metro rate for the first time since mid-March, according to a Deesmealz analysis.

Eighty-four percent of rural counties were in the red zone last week, down slightly from 87% of rural counties two weeks ago. The red zone is defined as counties that have 100 or more new infections per 100,000 residents in a seven-day period.

The actual rate of infections is likely much higher because the official tally does not include testing conducted at home.


Rural America reported 562 Covid-related deaths last week, a 10% drop from two weeks ago. But deaths in metropolitan counties increased 3.3% last week and totaled 2,791.

The rural death rate was 1.22 per 100,000 residents. That’s 23% higher than the metropolitan death rate of 0.99 per 100,000 residents. The rural death rate has exceeded the metropolitan rate every week except one in the last year.

This week’s analysis spans the week of Tuesday, August 9th, through Monday, August 15th, 2022. Data comes from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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