Covid-19 health risk by county, compared to the national average. New York Times map; click on the image to enlarge it.
Many areas of the U.S. that haven't yet seen major pandemic outbreaks could still be hard-hit in the coming months because of higher chronic health issues like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other ailments. Many of those counties, are rural.

"Large parts of the South and Appalachia are especially vulnerable, according to a health-risk index created for The New York Times by PolicyMap, a company that analyzes local health data," Nadja Popovich, Anjali Singhvi, and Matthew Conlen report for the Times. "The index for the first time identifies counties with high rates of the underlying conditions that increase residents’ risk of becoming severely ill if they are infected with the coronavirus. Even in lower-risk counties, a significant proportion of the population is living with these conditions."

The index's top 11 highest-risk counties where coronavirus cases are growing are all in rural, heavily African American counties in the Black Belt and the Mississippi Delta. Among them, Dallas County, Alabama, has the highest population, at about 44,000.