Covid-19 red zones July 18-25. Daily Yonder map; click the image to enlarge it or click here for the interactive map.
"The surge in new covid-19 cases moved deeper into rural America last week, with the number of nonmetropolitan counties in the pandemic’s 'red zone' climbing from 630 to 734 from July 18 to July 25," Tim Murphy and Tim Marema report for The Daily Yonder. "Red zone counties are those where the rate of new covid-19 cases exceeds 100 per 100,000 residents [a thousand per million] during a one-week period." The definition in a leaked White House report listing places that should impose restrictions because of high infection rates. The leaked report was issued July 14 and published July 16 by the Center for Public Integrity.

The number of new cases increased in nonmetropolitan counties from July 18 to 25, while new cases declined in metro areas. Nearly half of all rural counties had higher rates of new cases July 18-25 than in the preceding week, especially in the South, Murphy and Marema report. Rural counties in the Midwest and Intermountain West with higher infection rates tend to have meatpacking plants, prisons, and/or a higher proportion of Native Americans.