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Help Is On The Way? Coronavirus Aid To Rural America

The scene on a street in downtown Culpeper, Virginia.
The scene on a street in downtown Culpeper, Virginia.

Congress and the Trump administration are close to agreeing a $400 billion deal to help small businesses across the country in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic. The deal could be announced as early as today, which should come as a relief to those business owners in less-populated parts of the country.

So far, the majority of coronavirus cases in America have been concentrated in urban areas where the chances of infection increase due in part to population density.

However, COVID-19 is making its way into America’s rural communities, and they may be less than prepared. A recent analysis conducted by The New York Times found that two-thirds of rural communities had one confirmed case of coronavirus.

The rural economy tends to rely on jobs in industry, meaning that it’s difficult for members of rural communities to work remotely, from home. In addition, over the last decade, an average of 12 hospitals in rural communities have closed each year. From 2005 till 2020, a total of 170 rural hospitals closed.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar shared a plan to address the virus.She emphasizes stemming the tide of hospital closures and supplying the hospitals still open with appropriate supplies.

Are rural communities prepared for COVID-19? What can be done to protect people living far from urban areas?

We’ll also discuss the protests in five states against “stay-at-home” orders issued to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5

Kathryn Fink
Kathryn Fink is a producer with NPR's All Things Considered.