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Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)


COVID-19 See the resources, events, and news sections on this guide for the latest COVID-19 information added to RHIhub.

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.

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

Key Rural COVID-19 Resources

National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness
The White House
A roadmap for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and coordinating the national response across all federal departments and agencies. Centered around seven goals addressing mitigation, vaccination, and other key areas. Goal 6 focuses on protecting those most at risk and advancing equity across racial, ethnic, and rural/urban lines. Includes information on rural and tribal issues throughout, including addressing vaccine hesitancy and access to vaccines in hard-to-reach communities.

COVID-19: Rural Communities
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Guidance and resources from the CDC to help rural communities respond during the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes information for public health professionals, rural healthcare systems and providers, community-based organizations, rural residents, and businesses. Also addresses COVID-19 risk in rural 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).

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.

Rural COVID-19 Trends

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 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.

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. Reports from NC Rural Health Research include Rural Hospitalizations for COVID-19: Snapshot on December 10, 2020 and Rural Hospitals Have Higher Percentages of Patients with COVID-19.

Key Federal Sites for COVID-19 Information

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.

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.

FORHP: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions
Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
Information and resources for Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) rural health program grant recipients and stakeholders related to COVID-19 and its impact on rural health programs and rural communities. Addresses funding, telehealth, healthcare delivery, grant-related travel, and grants management.

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.

The Journal of Rural Health: COVID-19 and Rural Health
National Rural Health Association
A collection of journal articles published in the Journal of Rural Health that focus on rural health issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes articles addressing treatment of COVID-19, health disparities, and healthcare delivery during the pandemic, including the use of telehealth.

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.

NOSORH: State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) COVID-19 Response
National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health
Resources identified by State Offices of Rural Health to help address rural health challenges and opportunities related to COVID-19.

NRHA: COVID-19 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 loan payment assistance, application deadline extensions, and other USDA Rural Development actions to help rural residents, businesses, and communities impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.


Last Reviewed: 3/10/2021