As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the country, states are struggling to mitigate the spread of the deadly virus whilst safely reopening their economies.
A WalletHub study released on Thursday revealed its rankings of the five safest states to live in using recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The COVID Tracking Project, and epiforecasts.io.
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“As the U.S. continues its struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic, staying safe is one of Americans’ top concerns. Safety is also essential for getting the economy back on track, as the lower COVID-19 transmission and deaths are in a state, the more that state is able to eliminate restrictions on businesses,” the credit report service wrote. “We’ll only be able to fully get back to life as normal once most of the population is vaccinated against coronavirus, and it will still be months before we can achieve that.”
“Some states are already safer than others, though, based on how well they have kept the pandemic under control and how much they are vaccinating,” the financiers continued.
“In order to find out the safest states during the COVID-19 pandemic, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across five key metrics,” they explained.
WalletHub compared the aforementioned areas in five different categories including the states’ vaccination rate, positive testing rate, hospitalization rate, transmission rate, and death rate.
The study authors determined each the corresponding weights of all metrics grading on a 100-point scale — with 100 points representing the safest conditions possible.
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Then, they determined the weighted average across each metric, and totals were tallied to determine overall scores.
So, which state does WalletHub say is best navigating this dangerous balancing act?
In the number one spot with a score of 86.52 is Alaska, which has counted just 288 deaths to is 56,968 confirmed cases, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
At number two is Hawaii, with a score of 79.22. Johns Hopkins reports that Hawaii has tallied 426 deaths to its 27,132 cases and currently has a lower testing positivity rate than Alaska.
Taking third is the northeasternmost state of Maine, with 78.42 points. Maine has had 654 deaths and 42,877 cases thus far, John Hopkins says.
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North Dakota comes in the fourth slot, with 77.71 points. The Flickertail State has recorded 1,461 deaths and 98,901 cases, according to Johns Hopkins.
Lastly, Wyoming was ranked number five with a score of 75.93. Johns Hopkins shows the Cowboy State with a relatively high testing positivity rate, though it has only reported 662 deaths and 53,450 cases to date.