news survey reveals the most least safe states during covid 19 pandemic
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Survey reveals the most, least safe states during COVID-19 pandemic

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Sixty-eight percent of Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, compared 50 states and the District of Columbia across five key metrics to determine the Safest States During COVID-19.

Data includes the level of COVID-19 community transmission, the rates of positive testing, hospitalizations, deaths, and the share of the eligible population getting vaccinated.

The safest state during the pandemic, according to WalletHub, was Vermont, followed by North Carolina, Hawaii, D.C. and Utah. The least safe was West Virginia, followed by Arkansas, Iowa, Tennessee and Michigan.

Experts offered comments on how the American economy could be affected in fall 2022 if workplaces reverse COVID protocols.

“Workplaces have heavily rolled back COVID protocols already, and will continue to do so this fall,” WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzalez said. “Most new rules disregard the 6-feet standard for social distancing. Quarantine periods have also been shortened, if they exist at all. The rollbacks will make it easier for employers to bring workers back to the office, forcing the public health responsibility to individual workers and away from businesses. This will benefit the economy, since so many businesses are still suffering from people not yet returning to their offices or in-person venues.”

WalletHub asked for expert comments on the impact unvaccinated Americans will have on the economy.

“Our economic recovery will not reach its full potential until the vast majority of people who are medically able to get vaccinated do so,” Gonzalez said. “The more people who decline to get vaccinated, the more risk there is to public health. The safety level of the country impacts the economy because it is tied to the lifting of restrictions and it determines how confident people are to go out and spend money. While we have made a lot of progress with vaccination, recent polls have found that most people who are still unvaccinated do not plan to ever get the vaccine. Investing in campaigns to convince more people to get vaccinated may lead to bigger economic returns down the line.”

Is it common sense to assume that Vermont, which has had one of the lowest death rates, is also the most vaccinated?

“In addition to reporting no deaths in the past week, Vermont ranks first when it comes to the share of the population age 12 and over who have received at least one dose of the vaccine,” Gonzalez said. “Increasing the number of people vaccinated is essential for getting control of the pandemic.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.