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Mon Oct 26, 2020, 11:43 AM

As the coronavirus surges, it is reaching into the nation's last untouched areas

As the coronavirus surges, it is reaching into the nation’s last untouched areas
Karin Brulliard

Then came October. Three residents tested positive, knocking Petroleum off zero-case lists, forcing the county’s lone school to close for a week and proving, as Sheriff Bill Cassell put it, that “eventually we were going to get it,” and that the virus “ain’t gone yet.”

That is a lesson people in many other wide-open places have been learning as the coronavirus surges anew. Months after it raced in successive waves along the nation’s coasts and through the Sun Belt, it is reaching deep into its final frontier — the most sparsely populated states and counties, where distance from others has long been part of the appeal and this year had appeared to be a buffer against a deadly communicable disease.

In Montana, which boasts just seven people per square mile, active cases have more than doubled since the start of the month, and officials are warning of crisis-level hospitalization rates and strains on rural health care. In Wyoming, which ranks 49th in population density, the National Guard has been deployed to help with contact tracing. Those two states, along with the low-density states of Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota, now have some of the nation’s highest per capita caseloads. Even Alaska, the least-crowded state, is logging unprecedented increases, including in rural villages.

“People here make the joke that we’ve been socially isolating since before the state was founded,” said Christine M. Porter, an associate professor of public health at the University of Wyoming. “In terms of the reason this happened now and it didn’t happen before, it was essentially luck-slash-geography. It’s a disease that spreads exponentially once it’s taken root, unless you take severe measures to stop it.”

The rest: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/10/26/covid-last-counties-without-cases/

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Reply As the coronavirus surges, it is reaching into the nation's last untouched areas (Original post)
PSPS Oct 2020 OP
Aristus Oct 2020 #1

Response to PSPS (Original post)

Mon Oct 26, 2020, 03:13 PM

1. The nation's 'last untouched areas' are usually populated with hermits and anti-government kooks.

So COVID-19 will likely have a field day there...

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