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USDA invests $42M in telehealth infrastructure

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In a move to help rural residents gain access to healthcare and educational opportunities, the United States Department of Agriculture is investing $42.3 million in telemedicine and distance learning infrastructure.

WHY IT MATTERS

Rural areas have greater infection and death rates from COVID-19 because of several factors, including a much higher percentage of underlying conditions, difficulty accessing medical care and lack of health insurance.

The $42.3 million in awards includes $24 million provided through the CARES Act. The investments will benefit five million rural residents in total.

THE LARGER TREND

The Rural Policy Research Institute’s Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis recently issued a report that found infection and death rates in rural America due to COVID-19 are 13.4% higher than in urban areas.The USDA’s Economic Research Service recently issued a report that underscored the challenges facing rural Americans amidst the COVID-19 pandemic with even greater detail. Because of a confluence of factors, including higher percentages of underlying conditions, lack of health insurance, and lower access to medical facilities and care than urban residents, Economic Research Service analysts found rural Americans are suffering more severe illness or death due to COVID-19.Overall, the USDA is funding 86 projects through the Distance […]

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