COVID-19 Death Rates Are Higher In NC’s Rural Counties. Here’s Why.

Sep 17, 2020

Rates of deaths from the coronavirus in rural communities are now outpacing those in urban and suburban communities.
Credit Hertford County Government

Though COVID-19 struck North Carolina’s suburban and urban communities earliest, the virus has begun to sweep through the state’s rural communities at an alarming rate. 

According to recent reporting in The Charlotte Observer, about 33 of every 100,0000 residents in the state’s 80 rural counties had died from the coronavirus as of Sept. 9. Their reporting found the rates of death per 100,000 as 26 in suburban counties and 24 in urban counties. Among the factors that may be contributing to this are inconsistent mask-wearing, large social gatherings, difficulty in procuring COVID-19 testing and both residents’ distance from hospitals and hospitals’ lack of resources to treat advanced COVID-19 cases. Ames Alexander, investigative reporter for The Charlotte Observer, joins host Frank Stasio to discuss what he found digging into what is happening in rural counties.