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Rural America Fears Spread Of New Coronavirus As More Hospitals Close

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The Arizona Department of Health Services added four new Coronavirus deaths to the statewide count Tuesday, bringing the total to 24. The state has now tallied 1,289 cases across all 15 counties. Meanwhile, there’s growing concern about healthcare facilities in rural areas during the pandemic.

Nearly 200 small-town hospitals have closed nationwide since 2005, often forcing residents to drive much farther for health care.

Last year was the worst yet for shutdowns, and officials say hundreds more rural hospitals are endangered by the pandemic. That's because moneymaking procedures like elective surgeries are being delayed and resources diverted because of the viral outbreak.

More than 46 million people live in rural areas, and federal health officials say they are generally in poorer health than city dwellers.

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