Slammed Rural Health Care and COVID 19 logo
Credit: Logo design by Brandon Raygo, Cap Times

Rural communities are particularly vulnerable to the ravages of COVID-19. Residents of these areas tend to be poorer, older and have more chronic health conditions than those in urban areas and they have to travel farther for access to health care. As the number of COVID-19 cases increases all over rural America, the already financially strapped health care systems and medical professionals are being slammed. 

Several news outlets, including Iowa Watch, Wisconsin Watch, Carolina Public Press, Side Effects Media, and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, with support from the Institute for Nonprofit News, are collaborating to understand how the pandemic is playing out in rural communities.

Read the reporting:

Pandemic spikes in rural states, where small hospitals are already in financial distress (Reveal – 10/16/20)

Will COVID-19 Trigger More Rural Hospital Closures? (Side Effects Media – 10/12/20)

• Stimulus money was only a short-term fix as rural hospitals brace for the next COVID-19 surges (Iowa Watch – 10/16/20)

Natural disasters during COVID-19 add to the misery (Iowa Watch – 10/16/20) 

Lessons learned in real time at rural hospitals during pandemic (Iowa Watch – 10/16/20) 

Wisconsin’s rural hospitals weather pandemic better than most, but warning signs remain (Wisconsin Watch – 10/16/20)

Bill keeping government open gives hospitals new COVID-19 related Medicare payback rules, but no loan forgiveness (Iowa Watch 9/29/20)

Iowa hospitals drew almost $1B in Medicare advances to deal with COVID-19 (Iowa Watch – 9/10/20) 

A Look from Wash. State: Virtual doctor visits soar under COVID—for now. (Iowa Watch – 8/9/20)

COVID-19 hastens use of telehealth (Iowa Watch – 8/9/20)

‘Pure Hell’ As COVID-19 Hits Meat Processing Plants in Rural Missouri (Side Effects Media – 6/25/20)

Rural Hospice Workers Struggle to Overcome Physical and Emotional Barriers to Care (The Daily Yonder – 6/25/20)

Providing in a Pandemic: The Challenges of Rural Maternity Care Just Got More Difficult (The Daily Yonder – 6/24/20)

Michigan hospitals shorted $130K per COVID-19 patient in federal aid (Bridge Magazine – 6/24/20)

Pandemic threatens fragile rural health-care system in South Dakota (South Dakota News Watch – 6/24/20)

For Rural Hospital, Pandemic Hasn’t Materialized, but the Fiscal Harm Arrived on Schedule (The Daily Yonder – 6/23/20)

“Fall-off-a-cliff moment”: Covid-19 adds new dimension to farmers’ stress (Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting – 6/23/20)

Rural America is more vulnerable to COVID-19 than cities are, and it’s starting to show (The Conversation – 6/19/20)

Small towns in S.D. facing big challenges amid pandemic and historic declines (South Dakota News Watch – 6/16/20)

The Rural C ounties with Highest Rate of New Infections (The Daily Yonder – 6/15/20)

Health and human provider relief fund allocations to Iowa hospitals, as of June 3, 2020 (Iowa Watch – 6/4/20)

Industry leaders expect COVID-19 to take some Iowa hospitals down (Iowa Watch – 6/3/20)

You Asked: How Is COVID Affecting Meat Processing Workers (Side Effects – 5/25/20)

More than $500M in federal aid heading to Iowa hospitals would cover only half their COVID-19 losses (Iowa Watch – 5/19/20)

Health and human provider relief fund allocations to Iowa hospitals, as of May 13, 2020 (Iowa Watch – 5/19/20)

Are counties without confirmed cases testing anyone? (Carolina Public Press – 4/29/20)

For This Doctor, COVID-19 Deaths Bring Gut-Wrenching Goodbyes (Side Effects – 4/28/20)

Many Rural Residents See Little Threat From COVID-19 (Side Effects – 4/24/20)

NC hospitals seek nearly $500 million bailout due to pandemic (Carolina Public Press – 4/22/20)

Mission Health opens call to community questions about pandemic (Carolina Public Press – 4/21/20)

Why Rural Health Clinics Are Cutting Staff, Services Amid COVID-19 Outbreak (Side Effects – 4/20/20)

Victim and widow: Virus like bullet shot at you (Carolina Public Press – 4/16/20)

Infected Jackson County residents in isolation, officials urge caution (Carolina Public Press – 4/15/20)

Cash-strapped and volunteer-dependent, Wisconsin’s rural EMS providers scramble to keep responders safe (Wisconsin Watch – 4/13/20)

Emergency order violations could mean charges in Macon County (Carolina Public Press – 4/10/20)

Graham closed borders, among last NC counties without coronavirus (Carolina Public Press – 4/7/20)

Deep concern for some Iowa hospitals’ viability after COVID-19 crisis (Iowa Watch – 4/3/20)

Cherokee County: A Western NC community battles coronavirus pandemic (Carolina Public Press – 4/3/20)

NC small-town hospitals ready themselves for coronavirus (Carolina Public Press – 4/1/20)

Counties shift gears as coronavirus arrives in western NC (Carolina Public Press – 3/24/20)

Coronavirus poses greater risk for populations in some rural NC counties (Carolina Public Press – 3/21/20)

Dare closes borders due to coronavirus, requires entry permits (Carolina Public Press – 3/18/20)

Logo design by Brandon Raygo, Cap Times