Cases of COVID in rural America increase for second week in a row

Rural America is reporting a record number of COVID-19 infections.

The number of rural counties in “red zones” has gone up for the second week in a row, claiming by more than 61 thousand since mid-September. The weekly number of new infections has jumped by nearly 50 percent.

Despite the increase, the government is loosening requirements for employee testing in nursing homes.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid requires either bi-weekly, weekly or monthly testing, depending on the number of county residents testing positive.

However, some governors of rural states complained. A number of counties only seemed to have high numbers because of low testing. Meaning, nursing homes had to test staffers at a higher frequency than necessary.

Some worry the new rules will be problematic as the pandemic shifts to rural America.

For all updates on the Coronavirus and how it impacts Rural America, visit our Coronavirus outbreak hub.