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article imageU.S. states with the fewest coronavirus measures revealed

By Tim Sandle     Jul 26, 2020 in Health
With the U.S. currently carrying the unenviable statistic of having the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, data compiled by WalletHub shows variation across different states, highlighting the different perceptions by state governors.
The pattern of COVID-19 cases, coupled with different perceptions of the threat of the virus compared with the idea of 'liberty', has resulted in some U.S. states to slowdown or to pause their reopening processes. Where incidences have shown a sharp upturn, some territories have edged back into lockdown and the closing of establishments. To highlight these disparities, the personal-finance website WalletHub has compiled data and produced a state-by-state ranking in relation to COVID-19 safety measures. The report is titled 'States with the Fewest Coronavirus Restrictions'.
The process of identifying those states have the fewest coronavirus safety measures, WalletHub looked at metrics pertaining to the 50 states and the District of Columbia. For this exercise eighteen key measures were used. The metrics included whether a given state was imposing penalties for non-compliance with COVID-19 legislation; if a state had a policy for face masks to be worn in public places; plus whether there was a requirement for health checks to be put in place prior to entry into restaurants.
The outcome produced a ranking of all states, with the top ten states having the fewest measures in place being:
1. South Dakota
2. Wisconsin
3. Oklahoma
4. Utah
5. Iowa
Equal 6th. Idaho
Equal 6th. Wyoming
8. South Carolina
9. Arkansas
10. North Dakota
It should be noted that by having the fewest restrictions in place does not mean that such states are safer than others with more restrictions in place. This is because the process of implementing measures is sometimes driven by political decisions rather than utilizing evidence based health assessments.
In contrast, the states that have the highest number of measures in place were found to be:
42. New Mexico
43. Vermont
44. Arizona
45. North Carolina
46. Texas
47. Colorado
48. Massachusetts
49. Pennsylvania
50. New Jersey
51. California
WalletHub have been compiling these statistics since early on into the pandemic. Through this the changes can be tracked and there has been some variation since the previous assessment. For example, New York has changed from being 45th (that is a high-number of restrictions) to 29 (due to the lowering of some restrictions). This followed the state now only advises high-risk groups to quarantine and with the expansion of the maximum number of people at large gatherings to 25.
Conversely, Pennsylvania has shifted from 28th to 49th place. This is due to the state imposing a new limit on large gatherings of 25 or below. Plus local authorities have limited dine-in service and has newly closed bars.
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