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Rural Pennsylvania struggles to cope with COVID-19 surge

PHILADELPHIA — In April, as the coronavirus gripped portions of southeastern Pennsylvania, western and central counties  remained largely unaffected. As the first wave of coronavirus cases ravaged urban hubs like Philadelphia and New York City in the spring, rural Pennsylvania hospitals planned and waited. But many residents bristled at COVID-19 restrictions, not yet seeing the devastation firsthand. Mask wearing was often seen as political, and the mitigation efforts frivolous in towns largely untouched by the virus. But now, it has arrived.

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