In the latest COVID-19 update from The Daily Yonder, the rural infection rate has dropped to the metropolitan level for the first time in two months, despite the emergence of the Omicron variant. Rural infections dropped 13%, while metro infections rose 11%.

As of Dec. 18, the rural infection rate is 277 per 100,000 people. Metro rate is 268 per 100,000.

From the update: “The decline in rural infections last week is a strong indication that the Omicron variant has yet to establish itself in rural areas (as of December 18). While the highly contagious variant moves into the U.S., we’ll be watching to see whether rural cases surge disproportionately, as they did during the spread of the Delta variant.

Rural areas also saw a 7% decline in deaths, while urban Covid-related deaths grew by 6% last week. Rural counties reported 2,095 deaths, down from 2,253 the week before. Nearly 140,000 rural Americans have died from Covid-19 during the pandemic, according to data compiled by USA Facts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

According to the Yonder, New Hampshire currently has the highest number of rural infections, with over 600 cases per 100,000. But half of the states with rural counties saw a large decrease in cases, with Wyoming going from 1,042 cases to 443.

To read the rest of the update and see the data on the Yonder, click here.