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Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – News

News stories from the past 60 days.

Dec 1, 2020 - Analyzes new COVID-19 infection rates between November 22-28, 2020, finds that for the first time in 10 weeks, rural counties saw a decrease in the number of new infections, with a drop of eight percent from the previous week. Discusses how the Thanksgiving holiday could have impacted reporting, as more than a third of U.S. states altered their reporting schedule.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Nov 30, 2020 - Features a women's health clinic in rural Texas that provides care, such as birth control and cancer screenings, for low-income and uninsured patients. With unstable or unavailable internet access in the area, the clinic was unable to pivot to telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic and instead adjusted regular services to minimize face-to-face contact and protect patients.
Source: Texas Tribune
Nov 30, 2020 - Discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted primary care offices and summarizes a study that estimated 16,000 physician practices have closed under the stress of the pandemic, while many more struggle financially. Describes how rural areas are especially impacted, as they already lack an adequate number of healthcare providers.
Source: NBC News
Nov 27, 2020 - Describes the challenges an administrator at Choctaw General Hospital faces while trying to recruit nurses in rural Alabama. Discusses how a shortage of nurses makes recruitment difficult, but the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges, as nurses are in high demand across the entire country and urban hospitals have the resources to pay higher salaries.
Source: Advance Local Media
Nov 25, 2020 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) outlined comprehensive steps to increase healthcare system capacity to provide care to patients outside of a traditional hospital setting in response to a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Efforts include the development of the Acute Hospital Care At Home program and new flexibilities for Ambulatory Surgical Centers.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Nov 25, 2020 - Blog post addresses the surge of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in rural areas that are overwhelming healthcare systems. Describes efforts by federal and state officials to increase hospital capacity, discusses how the pandemic has exposed rural hospitals' lack of resources and funding, and recommends solutions to ensure rural communities have access to adequate healthcare.
Source: Center for Rural Affairs
Nov 24, 2020 - Features the Bridges to Health program in rural Oregon that utilizes Community Health Workers (CHWs) to improve access to resources and empower community members to improve their health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CHWs shifted to providing resources, such as medical or dental care, housing, food, transportation, and other basic needs, to those in isolation.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Nov 23, 2020 - Schools in New Mexico have shifted online during the COVID-19 pandemic and students in the Cuba Independent School District who lack electricity and internet feel isolated. The rural school district has kept buses running to carry assignments, art supplies, meals, and counselors who check in with students.
Source: Associated Press
Nov 23, 2020 - Analyzes new COVID-19 infection rates between November 15-21, 2020, finds nine out of every 10 rural counties are in the red zone with 100 infections per 100,000 residents, and 45 percent of rural counties are in the "very high" category with 500 infections per 100,000 residents. Includes an interactive map of all U.S. counties infection rates, as well as weekly data on the rate of new deaths and infections since June.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Nov 22, 2020 - Video follows healthcare workers at Unity Medical Center in rural North Dakota as they combat a surge of COVID-19 infections in their community. With case rates surging across the country, the small community hospital lacks the capacity and staff to care for critically ill patients they would typically transfer to larger facilities.
Source: BBC News
Nov 20, 2020 - The Food and Drug Administration has issued and reissued an Emergency Use Authorization for certain medical devices related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These authorizations are effective on their date of issuance.
Source: Federal Register
Nov 19, 2020 - Rural Open Door Forum speech from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator, Seema Verma, on the tenth annual National Rural Health Day. Discusses efforts by CMS to prioritize rural health and address challenges to healthcare access, including challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source: National Rural Health Association
Nov 19, 2020 - Summarizes a report that found one in five COVID-19 patients develop mental illness within 90 days of recovery. Carrie Henning-Smith, deputy director of the Rural Health Research Center, describes the possible mental health implications for rural residents, who are experiencing high infection rates and often lack access to adequate mental healthcare.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Nov 18, 2020 - Interview with Matt Hocks, MBA, chief operating officer of Sanford Health System, on how their rural facilities are coping with the fall coronavirus surge. Describes strategies the health system has implemented, such as having 120 days of personal protective equipment on hand, utilizing modeling to prepare for an increase in patients, and ensuring they had testing capabilities.
Source: Health Leaders
Nov 18, 2020 - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released several guidance documents related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. These guidances have been implemented without prior comment but are subject to comment per FDA policies. Includes details on how to submit comments and indicates that there is no deadline for comments.
Source: Federal Register
Nov 18, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs' (VA) Office of Rural Health (ORH) highlights resources available to support the health and well-being of rural veterans. Efforts include providing telehealth to connect veterans to the care they need, offering free training to community providers, pausing medical debt collection, and developing tools to support the Veterans Health Administration's workforce.
Source: U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
Nov 17, 2020 - Analyzes new COVID-19 infection rates from November 8-14, 2020. Finds the weekly number of infections in rural counties reached 195,795, meeting a new record for the eighth consecutive week. 86% of rural counties are in the red-zone and more than a quarter of those counties have infection rates that exceed 500 cases per 100,000 residents.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Nov 16, 2020 - Summarizes a briefing from infectious disease experts who explained how the return of in-person classes at colleges and universities is one of the causes of the COVID-19 spike in rural Upper Midwest communities. Describes how these communities lack the resources, staff, and specialists needed to care for infected patients. Includes a map of COVID-19 red zones from November 1-7, 2020.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Nov 16, 2020 - Provides an overview of a study that researched factors that prevent older residents from accessing the food they need. Findings show that isolation, lack of transportation, and low incomes – issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic – were all barriers to older residents' motivation and ability to prepare and enjoy food.
Source: Indiana University Bloomington
Nov 16, 2020 - The United States Department of Agriculture is seeking comments on an information collection related to food programs supported by the Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act (FFCRA). Comments are due by December 16, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Nov 14, 2020 - Hospitals in North and South Dakota near capacity as per-capita COVID-19 infections remain the highest in the country for several weeks in a row. Describes the severity of the outbreak in North Dakota, as the state is now allowing COVID-19 positive healthcare workers to continue working in COVID-19 units.
Source: NPR
Nov 12, 2020 - As COVID-19 accelerates its spread across rural America, hospital administrators in rural Kentucky and Nebraska discuss how their facilities are impacted. Faced with staffing shortages, bed shortages, funding issues, and increasing volumes of COVID-positive patients, rural hospitals are struggling to keep up.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Nov 10, 2020 - Analyzes new COVID-19 infections between November 1-7, 2020, finding that 80% of all nonmetropolitan counties are in the red-zone, or have an infection rate of 100 or more cases per 100,000 residents. Includes county-level data on areas with very high weekly infection rates, or 500 or more cases per 100,000 residents. These counties are primarily in the Upper Midwest and Great Plains.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Nov 9, 2020 - Highlights efforts by the Navajo Nation to combat the spread of COVID-19 in their communities, describes how a combination of health education, curfews, and moving cultural practices to the digital world has decreased cases. Discusses the impact of the pandemic on disparities present in Native American communities.
Source: Center for Health Journalism
Nov 9, 2020 - Features a struggling rural hospital in South Georgia and the CEO that helped turn it around with the help of a seasoned CEO from another rural hospital. After implementing a swing bed program and taking in patients from out of town, the rural hospital improved financially, allowing the hospital to prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source: Time
Nov 6, 2020 - Notice of interim final rule with comment period from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to implement section 3713 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which established Medicare Part B coverage and payment for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine and its administration. This interim final rule is effective November 2, 2020. Comments are due January 4, 2021.
Source: Federal Register
Nov 4, 2020 - Highlights the Veteran Connection Café, opened by a library in rural Washington in 2019 to provide healthcare and benefit services to veterans. The café closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the library continued to offer services by providing veterans with a Chromebook and access to Wi-Fi.
Source: The Daily Chronicle
Nov 4, 2020 - Notice from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of approval of the revision of an information collection related to the Promoting Telehealth for Low-Income Consumers, COVID-19 Telehealth Program. The revision will assist eligible health care providers to provide connected care services to consumers through the programs. Information obtained through the information collection will be used to evaluate whether or not the programs are in compliance with appropriate rules and procedures.
Source: Federal Register
Nov 4, 2020 - Notice of a final rule from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to ensure the integrity of Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) benefits. P-EBT benefits are supplemental allotments for households with children who would have otherwise received free or reduced price school meals, but the covered child care facility is closed or has reduced attendance or hours or one or more schools in the area of the covered child care facility are closed or have reduced attendance or hours in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. This final rule is effective November 4, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Nov 3, 2020 - Analyzes new COVID-19 infection rates by county between October 25-31, 2020. Describes that rural counties set a new record for infections for the sixth consecutive week, with 3 out of 4 rural counties on the red-zone list. Summarizes data for the month of October, when 389,000 rural Americans tested positive for the virus.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Nov 2, 2020 - The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued a request for information to gather broad public input on the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research. The Strategic Plan provides a framework to improve basic understanding of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 and to develop the necessary tools and approaches to better prevent, diagnose, and treat this disease. Comments are due by December 7, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Oct 31, 2020 - Podcast interview with Dr. Randy Tobler, CEO of Scotland County Hospital in rural Missouri describes the impact of COVID-19 on his facility and staff. Discusses how staffing is his biggest worry heading into the winter as rural hospitals are typically under-staffed and the surge in COVID-19 cases continues.
Source: NPR
Oct 30, 2020 - Documents COVID-19's impact on rural areas in Montana, featuring a hospital in Billings that has expanded to three COVID-19 units to treat critical patients from across the state. As infections rise, healthcare facilities reach capacity and worry about staffing, describes the stress healthcare workers are under.
Source: NBC News
Oct 30, 2020 - Notice of an interim final rule from the Department of Defense temporarily modifying the TRICARE regulation by adding coverage for National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID)-sponsored clinical trials for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. This interim final rule is effective October 30, 2020. Comments are due by November 30, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Oct 29, 2020 - As larger hospitals in Texas fill with coronavirus patients, small rural hospitals are unable to transfer their most gravely ill patients to receive higher levels of care. With staff falling sick from COVID-19 and limited hospital capacity, rural hospital executives worry that their facilities will be unable to provide care during an emergency.
Source: Texas Tribune
Oct 27, 2020 - Highlights the Coast to Forest Oregon program from Oregon State University, which aims to improve mental health and address substance use in rural communities. Describes how the program is completely remote, providing free monthly mental health first aid trainings for faculty and community partners, focusing on destigmatizing mental health challenges and early intervention.
Source: Oregon State University
Oct 27, 2020 - Analyzes new COVID-19 infection rates between October 18-24, 2020. Findings show that rural counties had a record number of cases, making it the fifth consecutive week that rural counties have seen a record-setting increase in infections. Includes an interactive map of new infections for each U.S. county, as well as additional findings.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 26, 2020 - The Census Bureau is seeking comments on the addition of four questions to the Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Survey regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the receipt of free or reduced-price meals from schools and the receipt of stimulus payments. The proposed questions will assist researchers to evaluate the impact of governmental assistance programs on economic well-being, particularly for the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). Comments are due within 30 days of this notice.
Source: Federal Register
Oct 26, 2020 - Addresses the drivers of increasing COVID-19 cases in rural communities, such as reduced compliance with mask-wearing, the resumption of community activities, and the difficulty of working from home. Discusses how understanding these drivers could help to curtail the current surge and limit flare-ups, includes ways to strengthen rural systems for the future.
Source: The Conversation
Oct 26, 2020 - Describes how the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the Midwest has exacerbated a workforce shortage in rural Minnesota nursing homes. Since May, 55 facilities have called for emergency staffing, reaching out to those laid off in the healthcare industry. Addresses how COVID fatigue or burnout has led many experienced workers to leave as well.
Source: MPR News
Oct 26, 2020 - The Small Business Administration allowing an additional 30 days for public comments to be submitted on a proposed information collection regarding various forms used for application for the Paycheck Protection Program. Comments are due by November 25, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Oct 23, 2020 - Interview with Alan Morgan, CEO of the National Rural Health Association (NRHA), discusses the impact of COVID-19 on rural hospitals, healthcare providers, and the communities they serve. Airing on October 26, 2020, the interview is part of the online Rural Assembly Everywhere conference, which will includes a conversation with the former acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 23, 2020 - Features a rural community in South Carolina, highlights the efforts of their municipal leadership to communicate with and provide for residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Discusses how communities need to be examined at a municipal level to fully understand the social impacts of COVID-19 on rural America.
Source: National Rural Health Association
Oct 23, 2020 - Analyzes the rate of new COVID-19 infections in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. Includes an interview with Carrie Henning-Smith with the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center, who describes the rural infection rates as ominous. Describes how the rise in infections could be due to "COVID fatigue," explaining that some find it difficult to be cautious as the pandemic wears on.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 22, 2020 - Rural areas across the U.S. experience a spike in COVID-19 infections, while small hospitals lack the capacity and resources to handle a surge of patients. As healthcare workers are exposed to the virus while out in the community, staffing becomes an issue, and larger hospitals do not have enough staffed ICU beds to handle transferred COVID patients.
Source: NPR
Oct 22, 2020 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced the latest Provider Relief Fund (PRF) application period has been expanded to include provider applicants such as residential treatment facilities, chiropractors, and eye and vision providers that have not yet received distributions. Applications for Phase 3 funding will be accepted until November 6, 2020.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Oct 22, 2020 - Commentary discusses the important role that libraries play in providing Internet access in rural and low-income communities. Highlights a public library in Pottsboro, Texas that offers telehealth services to its patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic, acting as a blueprint for other rural libraries and community sites that could provide telehealth services.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 21, 2020 - Describes how teledentistry allows dentists to remotely review records and diagnose patients over video, benefitting rural residents who often lack access to dental care. Includes arguments against teledentistry, discussing the technological barriers to implementation and claims that it allows dentists to cut corners.
Source: Kaiser Health News
Oct 21, 2020 - Blog post discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problems rural hospitals face, especially as rural counties see infection rates rise. Highlights three critical building blocks for rural payment and delivery models: stability, including reliability of income and security that the funds are adequate; connectedness through telehealth support; and flexibility in allowing hospitals to tailor activities to local needs.
Source: American Hospital Association
Oct 21, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) authorizing qualified pharmacy technicians and State-authorized pharmacy interns to administer childhood vaccines, COVID-19 tests, and COVID-19 vaccines when made available. Includes requirements that must be satisfied to administer vaccines.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Oct 20, 2020 - Blog post from Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) discusses the expansion of telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic, including how to best harness its capabilities and reach populations with limited access to technology or need culturally tailored interventions. Highlights studies aimed at improving telehealth services in rural and underserved populations.
Source: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Oct 20, 2020 - A struggling rural hospital in Georgia is set to close in October after experiencing severe financial setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, joining 11 other facilities in rural parts of the U.S. that have closed since March 2020. Describes the pandemic's impact on hospitals across the country and discusses how federal stimulus relief packages and Medicaid expansion has helped keep facilities afloat.
Source: Time
Oct 19, 2020 - The Indian Health Service (IHS) is requesting tribal and urban programs submit comments on the IHS COVID-19 Pandemic Vaccination Draft Plan by October 21, 2020. Includes additional COVID-19 resources from other federal agencies.
Source: Indian Health Service
Oct 19, 2020 - Addresses the rise in domestic violence and abuse in rural America during the COVID-19 pandemic, with economic pressures and limited access to transportation contributing to the increase. Describes how social distancing requirements limits shelter capacity, discusses the potential long-term impacts on children exposed to domestic violence.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 19, 2020 - Analyzes new COVID-19 cases from October 11-17, 2020, findings show COVID-19 continues to spread through rural America, with the total number of rural residents testing positive breaking 1 million. Includes an interactive map of new infections by county, a graph detailing the percent of counties in the red zone from August to October, and a list of rural red-zone counties by state.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 19, 2020 - Notice of interim final rule from the Small Business Administration revising the previous interim final rules for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Provides additional guidance concerning the forgiveness and loan review processes for PPP loans of $50,000 or less and, for PPP loans of all sizes, lender responsibilities with respect to the review of borrower documentation of eligible costs for forgiveness in excess of a borrower's PPP loan amount. This interim final rule is effective October 14, 2020. Comments are due by November 18, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Oct 16, 2020 - The National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) launched the online portal to collect official data for the Rural Health Clinic (RHC) COVID-19 Testing Program. All RHCs that received money from the program are required to report through this portal, which requests basic data regarding COVID-19.
Source: National Association of Rural Health Clinics
Oct 16, 2020 - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released several guidance documents related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. These guidances have been implemented without prior comment but are subject to comment per FDA policies. Includes details on how to submit comments and indicates that there is no deadline for comments.
Source: Federal Register
Oct 16, 2020 - Describes the challenges rural health providers have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they have adapted to address those barriers. Discusses how rural health collaboratives are relying on self-reported data, utilizing telehealth to increase access to mental health and addiction services, and offering curbside or virtual visits with providers.
Source: The Conversation
Oct 16, 2020 - Analysis shows new infections of COVID-19 spread 64 percent faster in rural America than in urban areas between October 4-10, 2020. The states with the highest rates of rural infections are clustered in the Midwest and Northern Rockies.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 16, 2020 - Covers an outbreak of COVID-19 in a rural Montana jail, in which infections make up a quarter of all known virus cases in the county. Describes how COVID-19 is affecting the rest of the town, as hospitals and the public health system are at capacity. Discusses the difficulty of containing the spread of infection as social distancing in the jail is nearly impossible.
Source: New York Times
Oct 15, 2020 - In rural Louisa County, Virginia, reliable broadband is hard to access, so when the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to shift to remote learning, county officials deployed 22 solar-powered hotspot units throughout the county. Describes how hotspots are not substitutes for true broadband infrastructure, but the technology has allowed students and families the opportunity to access internet.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 15, 2020 - Analysis finds that the rural rate of new COVID-19 infections is higher than the metropolitan rate has ever been. Includes a graph of the seven-day average of new infections per 100,000 for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties from March to October 2020.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 14, 2020 - Notice from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) correcting timeframes published in the October 8, 2020 notice regarding a meeting to implement the "Voluntary Agreement for the Manufacture and Distribution of Critical Healthcare Resources Necessary to Respond to a Pandemic."
Source: Federal Register
Oct 14, 2020 - Analyzes new cases of COVID-19 infections between October 4-10, 2020, includes an interactive map of all U.S. counties' case rates. Findings show 61 percent of rural counties are on the red-zone list, having 100 or more new cases per 100,000 population, setting a new record of infections in rural America.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 13, 2020 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is extending the comment period on a request for information regarding the deployment and use of elastomeric half mask respirators (EHMR) in healthcare settings and emergency medical services (EMS) organizations during the COVID-19 crisis. Comments are now due by December 14, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Oct 12, 2020 - Features the COVID-19 Epidemiology, Research, Testing and Services (CONCERTS) project at Washington State University's Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, which will help to reduce health disparities among American Indians and Native Alaskans. The project will work to understand who has been tested for the coronavirus and what challenges exist to getting people tested and ultimately vaccinated.
Source: Washington State University
Oct 9, 2020 - Addresses how the financial strain of the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the loss of rural hospitals in Ohio Valley and summarizes a report that estimates 16 to 28 rural hospitals in Kentucky could eventually close. Describes how rural counties suffer from greater mortality rates, as well as higher rates of poverty and unemployment, which are exacerbated by hospital closures.
Source: Ohio Valley Resource
Oct 9, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced they are extending flexibilities to allow free meals to continue to be available to all children throughout the 2020-2021 school year. This decision ensures kids receive the food they need as our nation recovers and reopens during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Oct 8, 2020 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced amended terms for payments issued under the Accelerated and Advance Payment (AAP) Program during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Repayment will begin one year from the loan's issuance date, after which Medicare will automatically recoup 25 percent of Medicare payments for eleven months, and 50 percent for an additional six months.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Oct 8, 2020 - Executive Order from the Office of the President to create a Coronavirus Mental Health Working Group to facilitate an "all-of-government" response to the mental-health conditions induced or exacerbated by the pandemic, including issues related to suicide prevention. This order also directs agencies to encourage current grantees to consider adopting policies that have been shown to improve mental health and reduce suicide risk and award contracts or grants to community organizations or other local entities to enhance mental-health and suicide-prevention services.
Source: Federal Register
Oct 8, 2020 - Notice from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announcing a virtual meeting to implement the "Voluntary Agreement for the Manufacture and Distribution of Critical Healthcare Resources Necessary to Respond to a Pandemic" on October 13, 2020. The meeting will be open to the public from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Meeting objectives include updating interested parties on the status of the implementation of FEMA's Voluntary Agreement, requesting that interested parties sign up to participate in the Voluntary Agreement, requesting that specific parties sign up to participate in one or more specific Plans of Action, and discussing the activation of the first Plan of Action under the Voluntary Agreement to identify more efficient methods of allocating and distributing Personal Protective Equipment to meet national demand and ways of expanding the production of critical healthcare resources.
Source: Federal Register
Oct 8, 2020 - Announcement of funding available from the Federal Transit Administration to support research demonstration grants for public transit agencies to develop, deploy, and demonstrate innovative solutions that improve the operational efficiency of transit agencies, as well as enhance the mobility of transit users affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Applications are due by November 2, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Oct 8, 2020 - Analyzes rural COVID-19 infection rates by state, identifying troublesome levels of new infections in Upper Midwest states, including Wisconsin, South Dakota, North Dakota, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Minnesota. Includes interactive maps of states' new infection rates, as well as a list of each state's percentage of rural counties in the red zone.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 7, 2020 - Provides an overview of a nationwide poll that reported one in every four households have been unable to get medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic, widening the disparities that already exist in rural communities. Describes that in rural areas, some obstacles to healthcare include high rates of uninsured residents, small healthcare workforce, and an increase of hospital closures.
Source: NPR
Oct 7, 2020 - Highlights small rural healthcare systems in Southeast Ohio that have proven successful in combating COVID-19. Describes how smaller hospitals have advantages in treating viruses because they serve as points of access, helping rural residents with diagnoses and preliminary services.
Source: The Post
Oct 6, 2020 - Analyzes new COVID-19 infections, describes that an additional 68 rural counties are on the White House red-zone list, meaning more than half of all rural counties are currently in the red zone. Includes an interactive map of all U.S. counties' infection rates between September 27 - October 3, 2020, as well as trends observed in the data.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 5, 2020 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated guidance to its How COVID-19 Spreads website, including information about the potential for airborne spread of COVID-19. CDC continues to recommend people protect themselves by wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, washing their hands frequently, and staying home when sick.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Last Updated: 12/1/2020