Record number of rural COVID cases continue for fifth straight week

A lot of big developments this morning on the pandemic-front.

On the international level, new lockdown measures in Germany and France are causing disruptions in the markets. In rural America, COVID cases have hit a record number for the fifth straight week.

The current spike in national cases is being spurred on by the rise in rural areas. “Red zones” blanket Idaho and Nevada, clear across the High Plains and the Midwest and south through Oklahoma, west Texas, and east to Alabama.

COVID “red zones” are defined as areas with an infection rate above 100 people per 100,000.

A group of lawmakers is praising a move by Health and Human Services, regarding the Provider Relief Fund for rural hospitals.

Last month, the department made changes to the way rural hospitals access that fund. In some cases, it would have required them to pay back some of the money they have already received.

The department withdraws the about-face after a request from lawmakers, led by Congressman Frank Lucas of Oklahoma. He stated, “The pandemic is far from over, and those on the frontlines, day in and day out, deserve stability and certainty, as they dedicate and commit their lives for the health of our communities.”