The Paradox of a Rural County: Few Cases of COVID but a Big Economic Impact


The Omni Homestead employs 700 people in Bath County. It closed for three months due to COVID, reopening in late June. (Credit: Omni Homestead)

While the COVID-19 pandemic has largely spared rural Virginia, the economies of many communities have taken a big hit. That’s clearly the case in Bath County – a tourist mecca on the West Virginia border where meal and lodging taxes dropped dramatically and unemployment rose to more than 20%. Sandy Hausman paid a visit and filed this report.

And in this report, Sandy Hausman details how locals in Bath County are still hopeful, and how a creative spirit is spreading as they find ways to survive the economic downturn.

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