The spike in national COVID cases is being spurred on by the rise in rural America

It is the final weekend before the election and the presidential candidates will barnstorm across the country. They will hit Midwestern states, where COVID-positive cases are hitting rural communities hard, setting a record for a fifth straight week.

This morning we have more insight into why it may be happening.

The current spike in national cases is being spurred on by the rise in rural areas. Emily Krekelberg with the University of Minnesota Extension says that this is not surprising.

“We were hearing from the CDC and others, very often, that this is certainly something that’s going to spread around, and they predicted that it would be more prevalent in metro and urban areas just due to the density of people in those areas,” Krekelberg states. “I think too people who live in rural communities, they are still traveling to larger areas to do their shopping and to do different things.”

She says that COVID can be easily confused with harvest fatigue.

“I think it is a little trickier especially with farmers because fever, fatigue, tiredness, a lot of those things are signs or symptoms of COVID, but a lot of farmers may just experience those due to harvest and long work hours, and those type of things,” she notes. “I just really tell people that, like we’ve been hearing on the news and everywhere else, if you aren’t feeling well, kind of better safe than sorry, go and get tested.”

She says that comfort levels surrounding the virus can vary from person to person.

According to Krekelberg, “We’re going to have different levels of stress and anxiety about it; some people won’t have any, some people will have a lot, so just being willing to work with people and recognize that they need to deal with this in their own way, and we need to respect that and give them that grace to do that.”

Whatever the reason for the increase, COVID trackers say it does not appear to be from a rise in testing, because the rate of infection is larger than the rate of people being tested.