NPR

On The Brink, Rural Hospitals Brace For New Surge In COVID-19 Cases

Rural "critical access" hospitals, often some of the largest employers in small towns, have been operating on razor-thin margins throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
A hallway leads to a makeshift isolation ward for COVID-19 patients. Source: Kirk Siegler

In the Idaho mountain town of Grangeville, population 3,200, signs in windows on Main Street advertise that Border Days "is on."

The annual Fourth of July celebration boasts street dances, Idaho's longest-running rodeo and even the world's largest egg toss. Like in a lot of small towns, Grangeville's economy has been struggling throughout this pandemic.

Border Days planners decided to go ahead with an altered, if slightly scaled back version of the festival this year amid worries about a possible spike in

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