Nearly two-thirds of rural counties report COVID-19 cases

In one South Carolina hospital, three out of four ventilators are being used on COVID-19 patients.
2:04 | 04/09/20

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Transcript for Nearly two-thirds of rural counties report COVID-19 cases
In the meantime, we also cannot forget the smaller communities across the country, the virus now reaching deep into rural America, where they already faced a shortage of health care, with hospitals closing. Tonight, one hospital with just four ventilators. Here's Steve osunsami. Reporter: In rural America tonight, where many thought the coronavirus would never hit home, nearly two-thirds of rural counties are reporting outbreaks of covid-19. This E.R. Doc in rural Mississippi says his state already struggles with fewer doctors per patient, and now this. I have this image of a tsunami out in the gulf of Mexico that's about to wash over our state. Reporter: At the williamsburg regional hospital in south Carolina, that tsunami has arrived. They are still recovering from a flood and Dr. Troy gamble says he only has four ventilators. Many of the patients we've had, we've had to intubate and send elsewhere. Reporter: These are Americans who have to drive an hour or more to the closest hospital. 120 rural medical facilities have closed in the past decade. And it's not just the south. In six rural counties in Michigan, the number of covid-19 cases has nearbily doubled in the last week. This hospital in rural Holyoke, Colorado, is short on masks. We're not the urban settings. We are often not the first people to get things. In southeast Georgia, shawndel gatling is recovering. We love you! Reporter: She's finally leaving her small country hospital, where already 49 people have died. That is a great image to see. But we have to keep these rural hospitals in mind, as we carefully go through this story, day after day, Steve. And Dr. Deborah birx at the white house has warned already that the number of kroechs cases in rural America could actually be undercounted. Reporter: David, authorities explain it this way. That if it takes you an honor to get to the closest medical facility, then it takes that long or longer to get to the closest test for covid-19. They say this explains the undercount. David? Really important story tonight.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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