In Rural America, Covid Hits Black and Hispanic People Hardest

The coronavirus pandemic walloped rural America last year, precipitating a surge of deaths among white residents as the virus inflamed longstanding health deficits there.

But across the small towns and farmlands, new research has found, Covid killed Black and Hispanic people at considerably higher rates than it did their white neighbors. Even at the end of the pandemic’s second year, in February 2022, overstretched health systems, poverty, chronic illnesses and lower vaccination rates were forcing nonwhite people to bear the burden of the virus.

Black and Hispanic people in rural areas suffered an exceptionally high toll, dying at far higher rates than in cities during that second year of the pandemic.