The coronavirus pandemic is one of the deadliest health crises the U.S. has ever faced. The social distancing restrictions put in place by states have helped slow the spread of the virus, but the U.S. has seen large spikes in confirmed new cases between June and August. Along with the surge in new cases came a rise in deaths.
States’ COVID-19 infection rates, hospitalization rates and death rates are not only vital from both a public health standpoint but also from an economic perspective because they dictate the pace at which areas can safely reopen for business. Until the potential benefits outweigh the health risks, states will not be able to move to their next phases of reopening, and thus will not see substantial economic growth.
In order to determine where Americans’ health is recovering most from the COVID-19 pandemic, and thus where reopening efforts can accelerate, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 13 key metrics. Those include the COVID-19 death rate, hospitalization rate and the rate at which people test positive. This report focuses on the latest developments in each state rather than which states have been hit the hardest throughout the pandemic, and seeks to highlight which states have experienced a positive trend in their residents’ health in the past few weeks. Read on for the results, along with a full description of our methodology.
States with the Biggest Health Improvements During Coronavirus
‘Death Rate’ Rank
‘Other Death Rate Metrics’
‘Positive Testing Rate’
‘Other Positive Testing Rate Metrics’
‘Transmission Number’ Rank
‘Hospitalization Rate’ Rank
‘Influenza Activity Level’ Rank
|18||District of Columbia||68.75||13||3||6||10||23||36||N/A|
Red States vs. Blue States
In order to determine the states with the biggest health improvements during COVID-19, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 13 key metrics in seven overall categories: 1) Death Rate This Week, 2) Other Death Rate Metrics, 3) Positive COVID-19 Testing Rate This Week, 4) Other Positive COVID-19 Testing Rate Metrics, 5) Transmission Number, 6) Hospitalization Rate and 7) Influenza Activity Level.
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.
Death Rate This Week - Total Points: 35
- Death Rate This Week: Full Weight (~35.00 Points)
Other Death Rate Metrics - Total Points: 20
- Death Rate This Week vs. Death Rate Last Week: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
- Death Rate This Week vs. Average Death Rate of Last 4 Weeks: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
- Death Rate of Last 4 Weeks vs. Death Rate of Prior 4-Week Period: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
- Death Rate of Last 2 Weeks vs. Death Rate of Prior 2-Week Period: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
Positive COVID-19 Testing Rate This Week - Total Points: 15
- Positive Testing Rate This Week: Full Weight (~15.00 Points)
Other Positive COVID-19 Testing Rate Metrics - Total Points: 10
- Positive Testing Rate This Week vs. Positive Testing Rate Last Week: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
- Positive Testing Rate This Week vs. Average Positive Testing Rate of Last 4 Weeks: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
- Positive Testing Rate of Last 4 Weeks vs. Positive Testing Rate of Prior 4-Week Period: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
- Positive Testing Rate of Last 2 Weeks vs. Positive Testing Rate of Prior 2-Week Period: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
Transmission Number - Total Points: 5
- COVID-19 Current Estimated Transmission Number: Full Weight (~5.00 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.
COVID-19 Hospitalization Rate This Week - Total Points: 10
- COVID-19 Hospitalization Rate This Week: Full Weight (~10.00 Points)
Influenza Activity Level - Total Points: 5
- Influenza Activity Level: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
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 COVID19-projections.com.
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