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WSU Covid Tracker Allows Urban, Rural County Comparisons

WSU College of Medicine

It’s not hard to track coronavirus statistics from around the country. The states of Washington and Idaho and several local health districts make Covid data available on their websites.

But one site created by Washington State University researchers sorts that information so you can compare Covid information from rural and urban areas.

The WSU site is called Covid Urban Rural Explorer, or CURE. It was developed by College of Medicine faculty members Ofer Amram and Pablo Monsivias. They’re researchers who study health care and other inequities in rural and urban communities.

Monsivias says their Covid tracker gathers publicly-available information collected by the New York Times every day and organizes it. It allows you to see, for example, how Covid rates in rural counties, day to day, compare to rates in urban counties.

“Most of the counties that have accelerated the most in cases in the last seven days, for example, are rural counties," he said. "We’re also seeing that, when you standardize the cases and you account for the population size, for many states, including Washington state, rural and urban counties are actually pretty comparable. There are a lot of rural counties that actually have higher rates than our urban counties.”

Monsivias says the goal is to provide up-to-date information to rural communities especially to help them react more quickly, say, when cases begin to spike.

“We know that they don’t have the capacity, the clinical capacity or the public health capacity, to do comprehensive contact tracing or where the number of available beds might not be very high. So those are important questions that, basically, spring up when we start looking at these trends," he said.

You can find the Covid tracking site here.