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Policy Associate Center for Rural Affairs 

OPINION: COVID-19 Reveals Problems In Rural Health Care


January 14, 2021

In spring 2020, we heard terrible stories of overburdened hospitals leading to preventable deaths in Italy. Soon after, these stories started to hit closer to home – New York City.

Now, as COVID-19 surges to a new peak, these shortages have even reached rural areas, where hospital systems are already often under-resourced and understaffed.

Across the country, rural communities are seeing record numbers of hospitalizations. As of last week, in the region surrounding Platte County, Neb., there was only one available intensive care unit (ICU) bed. In late October, North Dakota had only 16 av...

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