Covid-19 infections and deaths declined nationwide last week, but rural counties in the South still had some of the nation's highest rates of infection despite a drop from two weeks ago.

Infections

Rural counties reported 44,989 infections last week, a 16% drop from the previous week. The weekly case rate was 98 infections per 100,000 residents, 14% higher than the metropolitan rate. A quarter of rural counties reported infection rates higher than 100 per 100,000, a decline from almost a third of rural counties the week before.

Rural counties in the South saw a 40% decline in infection rates since last week, but still remain the epicenter of the nation’s case rates. The infection rate in the rural South was 102 infections per 100,000 residents, 17% higher than the national rate of 87 cases per 100,000.

Metropolitan areas reported 240,192 cases last week and a case rate of 85.12 infections per 100,000. That’s a 10% drop from the previous week.

Case rates are likely much higher since the CDC does not report on infections detected through home testing. 

Deaths

There were 689 deaths last week in rural America, where the death rate was 1.5 deaths per 100,000. The rural weekly death rate dropped 6% since the previous week.

In urban areas, there were 2,986 reported Covid-19 deaths last week, a 5% decrease from the previous week. The weekly death rate in urban America was 1.06 deaths per 100,000. 

Cumulatively, the rural death rate was 417.82 deaths per 100,000 and the urban rate was 305.35 deaths per 100,000. The rural cumulative rate has remained 37% higher than the metropolitan cumulative rate for 45 consecutive weeks. 

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