The U.S. States Graded on Their Covid-19 Response


The COVID-19 crisis has taken a huge toll on the global population. With more than 8 million cases and 440,000 deaths worldwide so far, we are experiencing a pandemic unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Researchers are racing to develop a vaccine, and the crisis may not die down until that happens.

The United States in particular has been hit hard by COVID-19, with more than 2 million coronavirus cases in the USA and counting. The country surpassed 100,000 confirmed deaths on May 27, 2020, and thousands of new cases still being reported each day. Containment of the virus is challenging due to varying state responses and lockdown restrictions. While some states were quick to issue stay-at-home orders, others did not issue any official government shutdown or reopened too early, causing a surge in new cases.

We analyzed how all 50 states have responded to the coronavirus crisis, including which states have coronavirus case reductions, to determine which states have done the best job.


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The U.S. States Graded on Their Covid-19 Response


Our Methodology

To determine these results, we compared the following metrics:

  • Weekly Change in New Cases per Million Residents: the number of new COVID-19 cases per 1,000,000 residents between June 12-18, 2020, compared to the prior week
  • Cases per 1 Million: the total number of COVID-19 cases per 1,000,000 residents
  • Deaths per 1 Million: the total number of COVID-19 deaths per 1,000,000 residents
  • Tests per 1 Million: the number of COVID-19 tests done per 1,000,000 residents
  • Reaction Time to Issue Stay-at-Home Orders: the number of days after the national emergency declaration it took to issue stay-at-home orders
  • Reaction Time to Close Schools: the number of days after the national emergency declaration it took to close schools
  • Reaction Time to Close Bars and Restaurants: the number of days after the national emergency declaration it took to close bars and restaurants

The States With the Best and Worst Coronavirus Response

Our analysis found that Michigan is the state that has handled the coronavirus crisis the best. While they were hit hard in the early days of the pandemic, they were quick to close restaurants and schools and did not reopen too quickly. This greatly helped in lowering the infection rate and reducing the occurrence of new cases.

These are the top five states with the best handling of COVID-19 cases:

  1. Michigan
  2. New Mexico
  3. Vermont
  4. Illinois
  5. Kentucky

Other states did not fare as well in the U.S. Coronavirus cases continue to surge in some locations, particularly those that did not enact strict closures or social distancing guidelines. Out of all 50 states, Alabama’s coronavirus response received the worst score. They began easing restrictions on closures despite an increasing number of cases, resulting in a huge spike.

These are the states with the worst response to the coronavirus crisis:

  1. Alabama
  2. Arizona
  3. Arkansas
  4. South Carolina
  5. Florida

How to Stop the Spread

While many states are beginning to reopen and ease restrictions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommend taking proper safety precautions when out in public:

  • Maintain social distancing (6 feet)
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
  • Clean and disinfect frequently

While it’s unclear when we may see a coronavirus vaccine or treatment, following these safety measures can help reduce the spread of the virus and prevent a spike in new cases.


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