Also last week, rural America surpassed 100,000 deaths from Covid-19.

Exactly one year after the rural Covid-19 infection rate first exceeded the urban rate, rural counties have moved back to the front edge of the pandemic.

The rate of new infections last week was a third higher in rural counties than urban ones, a Daily Yonder analysis shows. The current trend began the week of August 14.

The last time the rural rate of new infections was this much higher than the metro rate was the second week of August 2020. After surpassing the metro rate for the first time that week, the rural rate of new infections remained higher than the metro rate for nearly five months – through the end of 2020.

Link to Interactive Map showing Covid-19 Data by County

The higher infection rate comes just as rural America surpassed 100,000 total deaths from Covid-19. The current death toll among rural Americans stands at 101,035. Last week, 1,779 rural Americans died from Covid-19, an increase of about 18% from two weeks ago.

Rural residents who contract Covid-19 are slightly more likely to die from the illness than metropolitan residents. While rural residents account for about 14.4% of all infections, they represent 16.2% of the nation’s Covid-related deaths. Previous studies have pointed to several factors that could raise risk for rural populations, including age and complicating conditions such as type 2 diabetes.

This week’s report covers Sunday, August 22, through Saturday, August 28. Data is from USA Facts.