In the latest WalletHub survey, the safest state during COVID-19 was named. "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," wrote Financial Writer Adam McCann. "Our data set includes the rates of COVID-19 transmission, positive testing, hospitalizations and death, as well as the share of the eligible population getting vaccinated." Read on to see if your state made the list, as we count down the top 10 (well, 11, because they counted D.C.)—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Had COVID And May Not Have Even Known It.
The CDC said vaccinated people can go maskless pretty much everywhere except when traveling or in hospitals or prisons. Masks won't be required at schools in Utah. "So give kids an opportunity to see their teachers, to see their friends, to spend that last week together without masks, if they so choose," Gov. Spencer Cox said Thursday.
The state was hit hard but ended up being one of the safest. And soon: "We're not wearing face coverings. We're not restricted in any way, shape or form from doing the old things that we used to do, save for huge, large-scale indoor convention events like that, where we use our common sense," Gov. Gavin Newsom said in an interview with Fox 11.
"Fourteen months after the Washington region's first reported case of the coronavirus, daily infections and deaths are trending down as vaccinations take hold," reports the Washington Post. "Hospitals are seeing far fewer critically ill patients, and funeral homes are receiving fewer covid-19 victims. A union chief in D.C. says it's been two months since he's had to call a bereaved family to brief them on their loved one's life insurance policy."
"Indoor masking will still be required for the unvaccinated for a little while longer," Gov. Ned Lamont said. "I think that's the right thing to do." As for how to tell who's been vaccinated: "I think every store, business, restaurant may have their own rules that way. At this point, I think people are going to self-attest. We hope they are going to do the right thing," he said.
Fully vaccinated Rhode Islanders can follow the CDC's latest advice. And the whole state opens up soon. "So we reset Rhode Island at 100% capacity beginning May 21," said Gov. Dan McKee. "100% capacity in our retail stores, 100% capacity in our gyms, 100% capacity in our offices, and no limits to social gatherings."
The state is happy to have vaccinations open to those 12 and up. "While children tend to do very well with COVID, they tend to be asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. We still see kids get sick, we still see kids hospitalized, and we know that they can spread it to adults," Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska's chief medical officer, told reporters this week.
Vaccination walk-ins will happen soon, as might incentives. "We are looking at working with different businesses, with Commissioner (of Business and Economic Affairs Taylor) Caswell and Perry Plummer, looking at what opportunities there are for us to set up pop-up clinics or mobile activities all around the state at different types of events where there might be some opportunities for incentives," Dr. Beth Daly, the chief of the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, said. "They're not going to be anything significant, but maybe a free hot dog or ticket to something."
Gov. Janet Mills will ease COVID protocols on May 24th. As for the latest CDC guidance on masks: "Notwithstanding the latest guidance from the U.S. CDC … Mask wearing remains critical, regardless of the venue," Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said this week. "When we do see [the U.S. CDC guidance], we will review it carefully, and proceed accordingly," Shah said, "but we just learned about and have not yet received it or reviewed it—that's gotta be step number one. Where we go after that, I can't speculate."
"The new @CDCgov guidance is great news. We will be updating our reopening plans early next week," tweeted Gov. Charlie Baker this week. "Massachusetts is on track to vaccinate more than 4 million residents soon. Please stay safe while we prepare next steps to return to our new normal."
Vermont waited until it had a low baseline of cases before re-opening fully. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, once called Vermont a "model" of how to handle a pandemic. "This should be the model for the country – how you've done it," Fauci said, "Notwithstanding that this is a small state, but it should be the model of how you get to such a low test positivity that you can actually start opening up the economy in a safe and prudent way."
And the #1 Safest State During the Pandemic Is….Hawaii
Hawaii is "close" to reaching herd immunity, according to at least one epidemiologist. But Gov. David Ige isn't resting easy. "At this point in time with the majority of our community not vaccinated, and we are not able to determine whether someone is vaccinated or not, we will continue to maintain the mask mandate here in the state of Hawaii," Ige said at a press conference. "The challenge is it's impossible to determine who's vaccinated and who's not vaccinated." As for yourself, get vaccinated, and to get through life at your healthiest, don't miss: This Supplement Can Raise Your Cancer Risk, Experts Say.