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Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

This guide will help you learn about activities underway to address COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, with a focus on rural communities.

See the Emergency Preparedness guide for communication planning tools to reach rural communities.

See the Vaccination section for resources and information focused on rural access to COVID-19 vaccination.


Key Rural COVID-19 Resources

National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
The White House
A plan to address COVID-19 focused on four goals: protecting against and treating COVID-19; preparing for new variants; preventing economic and educational shutdowns; and continuing to vaccinate the world. Includes discussion of equitable access to COVID-19 resources for rural and tribal communities.

NRHA COVID-19 Technical Assistance Center
National Rural Health Association
Supports the needs of rural providers and communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Assists rural healthcare organizations through financial consultations, operational support, and help obtaining essential medical resources, including Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Also provides information on vaccine distribution and education.

Re-imagining Leadership: A Pathway for Rural Health to Thrive in a COVID-19 World
Colorado Hospital Association, Eugene S. Farley, Jr. Health Policy Center
A COVID-19 emergency response playbook for rural healthcare delivery systems. Includes an assessment tool to help rural communities examine governance and leadership, community engagement, financial health, clinical care, and emergency preparedness and resilience.

Rural Healthcare Surge Readiness
COVID-19 Healthcare Resilience Working Group
Up-to-date and critical resources for rural healthcare systems preparing for and responding to a COVID-19 surge.


CDC COVID Data Tracker: Trends in COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in the United States, by County-level Population Factors
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Provides data on COVID-19 cases and deaths for metropolitan, micropolitan, and non-core areas for the nation, by region, and by state.

COVID-19 Community Levels
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
County-level information to help communities understand the local level of COVID-19 concern — low, medium, or high. Each county’s level is based on COVID-19 admissions, inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and total new COVID-19 cases in the past 7 days. Includes guidance for community-level and individual prevention strategies for each level.

COVID-19 County Reports
RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
Current data on COVID-19 cases for metropolitan and nonmetro counties, as well as a collection of data briefs showing trends in COVID-19 cases over time.

Covid-19 Dashboard for Rural America
The Daily Yonder
A collection of maps and charts providing data on rural COVID-19 vaccinations, cases, and deaths. Maps include county-level information on vaccination and identify rural hot spots.

Rural COVID Research and Figures
North Carolina Rural Health Research Program
A collection of reports and visualizations examining the impact of COVID-19 on rural areas, including rural hospital and community vulnerability, hot spots, and more.


Key Federal Sites for COVID-19 Information

COVID.gov
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Provides guidance to communities on where to find COVID-19 resources. Includes information on masks, vaccines, testing, and treatment. Includes location information for the Test-to-Treat program, which offers quick access to appropriate COVID-19 treatments, including antivirals.

CDC: COVID-19
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Provides information on the COVID-19 outbreak and shares the latest updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Covers vaccination, symptoms and testing, cases and deaths in the U.S., and more. Offers targeted information for communities and organizations, healthcare providers, and public health departments. Includes free communication resources for distribution.

USA.gov: Government Response to Coronavirus, COVID-19
An overview of federal government activities in response to COVID-19.


Long COVID

National Research Action Plan on Long COVID
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Provides a comprehensive research strategy to inform the national response to Long COVID's impacts. Addresses research needs focused on Long COVID causes and consequences, underlying biological mechanisms, effective therapies, and services and supports for people experiencing Long COVID, including those living in rural areas.

Services and Supports for Longer-Term Impacts of COVID-19
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Identifies federal services and supports to address the longer-term effects of COVID-19, including Long COVID and related conditions, mental health and substance use challenges, and bereavement. Includes healthcare facilities and a wide range of services that can help meet these needs in rural and tribal communities.


Medicaid/CHIP Continuous Enrollment and SNAP Unwinding

Resources and information to help prepare as health insurance coverage and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits that were maintained during the public health emergency through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) expire.

Unwinding and Returning to Regular Operations after COVID-19
Medicaid.gov
Central resource for states and other Medicaid stakeholders to find information and resources to help them plan and prepare for the unwinding of continuous coverage.

Medicaid and CHIP Continuous Enrollment Unwinding: A Communications Toolkit
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
Provides key messages, sample articles, social media products, and other materials states and other Medicaid stakeholders can use to communicate about the unwinding of continuous coverage.

Medicaid and CHIP Continuous Enrollment Unwinding: What to Know and How to Prepare, A Partner Education Monthly Series
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
Monthly webinar series covering different topics related to continuous enrollment unwinding. Materials from previous calls are available at CMS National Stakeholder Calls.

SNAP - Preparing for Reinstatement of Time Limit for ABAWDs
Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Guidance to states on implementing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) time limit for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) once the temporary and partial suspension under the Family First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA) lapses.


Additional Rural and Rural-Relevant Resources

AAFP: Respond to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
American Academy of Family Physicians
Clinical management, patient education, and preparedness resources to help family physicians respond to COVID-19. Includes updates on payment and telehealth.

AHA: Updates and Resources on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
American Hospital Association
Resources for hospitals and health systems to help them respond to COVID-19. Includes news from AHA on the latest developments.

CMS: Current Emergencies: Coronavirus Disease 2019
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
Guidance from CMS for healthcare facilities and labs related to COVID-19. Includes clinical and technical guidance on infection control and prevention for specific types of facilities, information on billing and coding, coverage for services related to COVID-19, and other topics.

FEMA: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Information and resources on how FEMA is assisting state, local, tribal, and territorial governments related to the Nationwide Emergency Declaration for COVID-19. Includes best practices section where communities can share their experiences and learn from others. Also offers Resource Roadmaps to help communities find federal funding support and technical assistance to address COVID-19 recovery challenges.

FORHP: COVID-19 Information – Rural Response to COVID-19
Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
Information and resources for Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) rural health program recipients and stakeholders related to COVID-19 and its impact on rural health programs and rural communities. Includes information on how HRSA funding is helping address COVID-19 in rural communities.

HRSA Health Center Program: COVID-19 Information for Health Centers and Partners
Bureau of Primary Health Care
Information for health centers regarding how to prepare for and respond to an outbreak of COVID-19. Covers funding, resources, and information to help health centers meet the needs of their patients. Includes information and resources related to COVID-19 vaccination. Provides access to COVID-19 Health Center Program FAQs.

IHS: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Indian Health Service
Information on the federal response to COVID-19 in Indian Country. Addresses vaccination, testing, access to personal protective equipment, funding, emergency planning, and service delivery.

NACHC: COVID-19 Information and Resources for Community Health Centers
National Association of Community Health Centers
Updates, resources, and information to help community health centers respond to COVID-19. Covers vaccination, testing, telehealth, health center operations and finances, and more.

NARHC: COVID-19 & Rural Health Clinics
National Association of Rural Health Clinics
Identifies federal COVID-19-related programs that can help Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), as well as telehealth changes in effect during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

NRHA: COVID-19 General Resources
National Rural Health Association
Information and resources to help rural communities and healthcare providers address and respond to COVID-19. Includes links to state resources.

USDA Rural Development COVID-19 Response
U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development
Find the latest information on USDA Rural Development actions taken to help rural residents, businesses, and communities impacted by COVID-19. Includes program-specific information for USDA loan and grant programs.


Last Reviewed: 6/2/2022