According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, one of the key issues with the country's COVID-19 pandemic response, is that the 50 states haven't been very united when it comes to their approach. While some opted to shut down immediately and issued mask mandates, others opted to keep businesses open and give people the freedom to mask up as they pleased. Each state has also approached other factors—including vaccine distribution and healthcare priorities—differently. Now, a new study using data collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The COVID Tracking Project and rt.live, has ranked states from best to worst in terms of COVID safety, and this particular state landed dead last. Read on to find out—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Arizona is the Least Safe State, According to the Study
The Wallethub study used five metrics—vaccination rates, COVID-19 positivity, hospitalization, death, and transmission. Out of 50 states and the District of Columbia, Arizona was deemed the least safe state in the country, receiving a total score of 8.2. The state, which was hit particularly hard this winter, experienced the highest hospitalization and death rates. They ranked third to last in terms of transmission rate, the second to worst death rate, and the seventh worst vaccination rate.
The safest state, according to the study, was Alaska, earning a high score of 95.43. They currently have the highest vaccination rate, the third lowest hospitalization rate, second lowest death rate, fifth lowest transmission rate.
According to Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst, one action is crucial to get states out of the danger zone. "The most important thing that residents can do to increase the safety of their community and state is to get vaccinated when they are eligible," she stated in a press release accompanying the study. "While the vaccines being offered have a high efficacy, how well they are able to curb the pandemic also depends on the share of the population that chooses to get vaccinated. Until we achieve widespread vaccination and get the pandemic under control, people should continue to wear masks in public and practice social distancing to achieve the highest level of safety possible."
Gonzalez pointed out that Alabama, who had the highest death rate according to their findings and ranked second least safe state overall, is failing in the vaccination department.
"In addition to having the highest death rate in the nation in the past week, at over 113 per million, Alabama also has the lowest share of the population age 16 and over who have received at least the first dose of the vaccine," she said. "Increasing the number of people vaccinated is essential for getting control of the pandemic." Get yours when you can, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.