WALLETHUB | In a study released Jan. 21 about which states are most and least safe to be during this COVID-19 pandemic, North Carolina ranked 33rd — near the middle.

Only 0.62% of the population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Jan. 20, with vaccination being an essential component for full reopening of the economy. 

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. 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.

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SafestLeast Safe
1. Alaska42. Kansas
2. Vermont43. Arkansas
3. Colorado44. Pennsylvania
4. Montana45. California
5. North Dakota46. Georgia
6. Hawaii47. South Carolina
7. Iowa48. Nevada
8. Utah49. Mississippi
9. Minnesota50. Alabama
10. Missouri51. Arizona
Source: WalletHub
Note: Rankings are based on data available
as of 12:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.

As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its second year in the U.S., 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. 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.

The U.S. is off to a rough start so far, as only 0.62% of the population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (received both doses) as of Jan. 20.

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. 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. 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.

Source: WalletHub

Source: WalletHub

Note: Rank 1 on the “COVID-19 Death Rate Ranking” means fewest deaths and Rank 1 for “Vaccination Rate Ranking” means the highest share of population aged 16 and older initiating COVID-19 vaccination.

Methodology

In order to identify the safest states during the COVID-19 pandemic, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across five key metrics: 1) “Vaccination Rate,” 2) “Positive Testing Rate,” 3) “Hospitalization Rate,” 4) “Death Rate,” and 5) “Transmission Rate.”

These metrics are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the safest conditions.

We then determined the weighted average across all metrics to calculate an overall score for each state and used the resulting scores to rank-order the states.

  • Vaccination Rate: Double Weight (~25.00 Points)
    Note: This metric refers to the share of the population age 16 and older initiating vaccination. It is calculated as follows: Total Number of People Initiating Vaccination / Population age 16 and older.
  • Positive Testing Rate: Full Weight (~12.50 Points)
    Note: This metric refers to the positive COVID-19 testing rate in the state between January 13, 2021 and January 19, 2021.
  • Hospitalization Rate: Full Weight (~12.50 Points)
    Note: This metric refers to the COVID-19 hospitalization rate in the state between January 13, 2021 and January 19, 2021.
  • Death Rate: Triple Weight (~37.50 Points)
    Note: This metric refers to the COVID-19 death rate in the state between January 13, 2021 and January 19, 2021.
  • Estimated Transmission Rate: Full Weight (~12.50 Points)
    Note: This metric refers to the current COVID-19 reproduction number, which is an estimate of the average number of people to whom an infected person will transmit the COVID-19 virus.

 
Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The COVID Tracking Project and rt.live.

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