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Rural Counties Seeing Coronavirus Summer Surge; Rural New England Better at Pandemic Control Than South Dakota

Following the widespread hasty reopening of the economy, rural America has been posting worse coronavirus summer numbers right along with its urban cousins. The Daily Yonder reports that the rate of coronavirus infections in rural counties rose 150% from June 13 to July 12 and set records for daily positive-test tallies and the seven-day average. The article includes this interesting map showing the covid-19 rates for America’s rural counties:

Nonmetro rate of new coronavirus cases—click to access interactive map at The Daily Yonder
Nonmetro rate of new coronavirus cases—click to access interactive map at The Daily Yonder! from Tim Marema, “Rural America’s Daily Infection Rate of New Infections Climbs 150% in Last Month,” The Daily Yonder, 2020.07.15.

Notice that rural isolation doesn’t guarantee lower rates of infection. New England’s rural counties, which I would suggest have more dense populations and more interactions with urban hubs than South Dakota’s counties, are all green—i.e., almost all bottom-quintile infection rates—while South Dakota’s counties are a hodge-podge of all five quintiles.

So it would appear that South Dakotans haven’t used all that Freedom™ and Personal Responsibility® with which Governor Kristi Noem covers her lack of policy vision and action to suppress the pandemic with anything like the consistency of our Yankee comrades back East.

One Comment

  1. grudznick 2020-07-16 12:35

    What are those there red counties? And what on earth is happening in that Dewey county, with those road blocks?

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