Rural Americans more likely to die from COVID-19
Rural Americans are currently twice as likely to die from COVID-19 infections as their urban peers, according to Kaiser Health News and data from the University of Iowa’s Rural Policy Research Institute (RPRI).
As of March 2020, 1 in 434 rural Americans have died from COVID-19, compared to about 1 in 513 urban Americans. And unlike deaths in urban areas, the vaccine rollout has not slowed COVID-19 deaths in rural areas of the country due to low usage. Short-staffed hospitals and limited access to healthcare are also contributing factors, the researchers say.
Current 7-day average death rates are twice as high in rural areas, at more than 0.8 deaths per 100,000 population, compared to 0.4 per 100,000 in urban areas, according to RPRI data.
Incidence rates of the virus in September were about 54% higher in rural areas than elsewhere, and in 39 states, rural counties had higher rates of COVID than urban counties.
In related news, health officials in Idaho, a predominantly rural state with some of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, said more children and babies are hospitalized with complications from COVID . As of this week, 1,700 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in children in Idaho, according to the Associated Press.
Overall, the United States yesterday reported 123,269 new COVID-19 cases and 2,531 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker. The 7-day average of new daily cases is 113,573, with 1,986 daily deaths, according to the Washington post tracker.
In total, the country has recorded 43,401,309 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, including 695,957 deaths.
Los Angeles considering vaccine passports
The Los Angeles City Council proposed an ordinance that would require people to show proof of vaccination to enter many indoor public spaces, such as restaurants, gyms and movie theaters, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Written exemptions for religious or medical reasons can be used, but companies are required to serve these customers outside if possible. If this is not possible, exempt customers must provide proof that they have recently tested negative.
While the council vote was delayed yesterday, if a majority passes it next week, the ordinance will take effect on November 4.
Los Angeles County currently has an indoor mask warrant.
In August, New York City began requiring proof of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine for workers and customers at indoor sites for restaurants, fitness and entertainment venues.
- The risk of a COVID outbreak in Europe in the next 2 months is very high, due to the high circulation of the Delta variant virus (B1617.2) and the breakthrough cases among vulnerable people, the Center said. European Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). in his latest risk assessment, he also predicted a higher proportion of cases in children. So far, only 61% of the population in the European region is fully vaccinated, and levels vary widely from country to country. Health officials have urged countries to step up vaccination efforts and take other COVID-19 measures, depending on the local epidemiological situation.
- In Australia today, Victoria state reported 1,438 new cases – a jump of 50% – in part fueled by people breaking distancing rules to gather to watch the country’s football final, according to Reuters. Half of the state’s population aged 16 or older have received a dose of the vaccine, below the national average of 53%.
- Vietnam’s main COVID-19 hotspot, Ho Chi Minh City, began easing restrictions today after 4 months of mitigation measures. Illness levels have declined and the country hopes to restart the economy and learn to balance case prevention and regular activities.
- The global total today reached 233,572,830 cases and 4,778,857 people have died of their infections, according to the Johns Hopkins online dashboard.
CIDRAP editor-in-chief Lisa Schnirring contributed to this story.