COVID-19 cases are on the rise almost everywhere, but the share of new cases in rural Michigan counties is outpacing the new caseload in metro counties. According to an analysis by The Daily Yonder, nearly 70% of the nation’s more than 1,900 rural counties now are in the red zone, a term used by the White House Coronavirus Task Force to designate areas where the spread of the virus is out of control. Daily Yonder Editor Tim Marema tells us 44% of Michigan’s 57 rural counties are now on that list.
“The surge in rural areas tells me there’s really no place in America immune or protected from the virus. Each community is at risk or will be at risk. It’s just a matter of time.”
Marema notes the surge in rural counties is not entirely avoidable, but it is controllable. He says steps like wearing a mask, social distancing, and limiting contact with large groups can slow the spread.