AP Analysis: Most Counties Without COVID-19 Cases Are Rural

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AP Analysis: Most Counties Without COVID-19 Cases Are Rural
Infectious disease experts say this could be, in part, because people are more likely to live a socially distanced lifestyle in those areas.
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A new analysis shows a third of U.S. counties have yet to report any COVID-19 cases — and most of them are rural. 

AP analyzed data from Johns Hopkins University. Out of all the counties that haven't had any cases, 85% of them are rural. Infectious disease experts told AP this could be, in part, because people are more likely to live a socially distanced lifestyle in those areas.

These less-populated areas may appear to have avoided coronavirus so far, though the experts noted those rural counties just might not be testing enough.

Some experts worry it's not a matter of if, but when. And if these communities are hit, they could be hit harder. That's because rural areas tend to have an older population, lower household income and fewer medical resources. This sets up a scenario where the most vulnerable populations might face limited health care options when they need them.

The U.S. has the most confirmed cases in the world. Some medical centers in urban areas, such as New York City and New Orleans, have been overwhelmed by the pandemic.

Contains footage from CNN.