This pandemic has been interesting and is not over yet, even though state governments are starting to lift stay-at-home orders. Conversations and action plans on how to reopen the nation and certain venues – beaches, gyms, restaurants, nail and hair salons, to name a few – have started. Even as we see a decline in COVID-19 cases in metropolitan areas and we look at reopening the country, rural America is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases.
The Kaiser Family Foundation completed a two week analysis that ended on April 27, 2020. The analysis discovered that the growth rate of COVID-19 cases and deaths in rural America is not just higher than big cities and major urban areas; the number of cases and deaths are increasing. The population of rural America is older and the younger people that live there have high-risk health conditions. More concerning is that these areas have fewer intensive-care beds than metro counties.
The majority of these rural cases are in Georgia, Oklahoma and Montana, areas where social-distancing measures are easing. Are you prepared? If not, what do you need to be prepared for the additional patients?