Birx: Tracking the coronavirus is a challenge in rural areas

Nebraska News

White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx speaks to reporters in the rotunda of the State Capitol in Lincoln, Neb., Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, after meeting with Gov. Pete Ricketts and community and state health officials. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A top White House coronavirus official says federal officials need to figure out better ways to track the coronavirus in rural, sparsely populated areas where fewer people are getting tested.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House’s coronavirus task force, said in Nebraska Friday that health officials are struggling at times to get a sense of how the virus is spreading outside metro areas.

She says people in rural areas are often more self-reliant and reluctant to get tested, and in some remote counties, one positive case can lead people to conclude that the virus is more widespread than it is.

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