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The Considerate USA® Staff
With many larger cities throughout America, including Durham, North Carolina, poised to greatly recover from the 2020 Coronavirus, rural communities throughout the country are facing slower recoveries and increasing cases of COVID-19. The virus that causes COVID-19 has spread disproportionately among rural America. According to information collected by John Hopkins University in Baltimore, rural areas are currently seeing higher COVID-19 death-related cases when compared to more heavily populated cities. As areas, both densely and sparsely populated in the United States slowly reopen, here are 3 key things to consider.
"Rural communities are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases."
RURAL COMMUNITIES’ CORONAVIRUS CASES ARE SURGING
The John Hopkins study on the Coronavirus highlights the virus’ accelerated spread in rural communities. According to the study, COVID-19 cases have increased by nearly 24 times in rural counties, from March 24 to mid-April. This is considerable, considering since the pandemic began, larger communities such as New York City, D.C., and San Francisco have gained national attention as hot spots for COVID-19 spread. With cases in many highly populated areas now decreasing, cases of Coronavirus are predicted to continue their increase in rural communities throughout the U.S.
"Although urban COVID-19 cases are declining, rural America is seeing a surge."
AGING POPULATIONS ARE SUFFERING
Throughout America’s rural communities, aging populations are experiencing an increasing number of COVID-19 related deaths. According to the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey School of Public Policy, the older age structure of rural America and that population’s prevalence of food insecurities and higher rates of chronic health issues such as diabetes and obesity, have contributed to the current COVID-19 related deaths in these communities. Also, many nursing home and senior-assisted living facilities have been plagued with Coronavirus infestations, with many of those affected located in rural counties. By some estimates, nearly a third of all U.S. Coronavirus deaths stem from nursing homes. Inadequate access to health care for aging populations in rural America has been a source of concern before the Coronavirus began its spread, and with Americans depending on health care and medical providers as a life-saving resource during this pandemic, this disparity is considered a reason for the disproportionate death rates in rural counties.
"Health disparities, inadequate healthcare options, and a high concentration of prison facilities may be behind recent spikes in Coronavirus cases."
RURAL PRISON POPULATIONS ARE ADDING TO COVID-19 spikes
The concentration of prisons in rural American communities has now directly contributed to the increasing coronavirus rates in areas outside densely-populated cities. An estimated 70% of U.S. prisons are located outside of more populated cities, and outbreaks of COVID-19 in America’s prisons are adding to increased numbers in those rural communities that are attempting to keep their local populations cases from spreading. Many of these prisons depend on nearby rural hospitals for medical support of inmates who have contracted the Coronavirus, placing an even greater strain on rural medical systems hit hard by a struggling economy.
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