Vulnerable Rural Hospitals During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

COVID-19 has accelerated the threat of rural hospital closures. Although rural hospital closures threaten communities nationwide, communities serving higher percentages of non-white populations are at a higher risk of closure. Southern states that have not chosen to expand Medicaid, that have higher percentages of non-white populations, and where people rely more on emergency services, are at high risk of experiencing a hospital closure. Furthermore, the spread of COVID-19 is escalating in rural areas, which causes researchers to fear that areas with weakened rural health care infrastructure will not have the capacity needed to treat large surges of patients.