The coronavirus pandemic has been surging in rural areas in recent weeks, but the relatively low number of cases can make the trend look less concerning than it is. But the percentage of recent rural cases has often been just as bad as those hitting big cities in the Sun Belt this summer, Manny Fernandez and Mitch Smithreport
for The New York Times. The Daily Yonderreported
on Wednesday that new coronavirus infections in rural counties jumped a record 16% last week.
"North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana, for example, have announced the country’s highest number of cases on a per capita basis. Already, the North Dakota and South Dakota numbers exceed the per capita figures seen at the peak of summer surges in the Sun Belt," Fernandez and Smith report. "Other states with large rural areas — including Wyoming, Idaho, West Virginia, Nebraska, Iowa, Utah, Alaska and Oklahoma — have recently recorded more cases in a seven-day stretch than in any other week of the pandemic."