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With spikes in COVID-19 leading some states to pause their reopening processes and some local areas to close down, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released updated rankings for the States (and District of Columbia) with the Fewest Coronavirus Restrictions. One month ago New York ranked 47, or the state with the 4th most restrictions. But as of Monday the ranking had gone to the middle of the pack, with New York ranking 29th (fewest restrictions, or 22nd most), tied with Washington, DC.  New York also scored the 6th lowest death rate.

As of Monday South Dakota had the fewest travel restrictions, followed by Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Utah, and Iowa. The top five states with the most restrictions are (most to least) California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Colorado.

To identify which states have the fewest coronavirus restrictions, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 18 key metrics. The data set ranges from whether the state has any penalties for non-compliance with COVID-19 legislation to whether the state has required face masks in public and health checks at restaurants.

Coronavirus Restrictions in New York (1=Fewest, 25=Avg.):
  • 23rd – Requirement to Wear a Face Mask in Public
  • 28th – Workplace Temperature Screening
  • 1st – Reopening of Child-Care Programs
  • 15th – Travel Restrictions
  • 14th – Large Gatherings Restrictions
  • 47th – Strictness of “Shelter in Place” Order
  • 23rd – Reopening of Non-Essential Businesses
  • 16th – Reopening of Restaurants and Bars
  • 15th – Working from Home Requirements/Recommendations

Note: Rankings are based on data available as of 12:30 p.m. ET on Monday, July 20, 2020.

COVID-19 Death Rate vs Restrictions

Source: WalletHub

In order to identify the states that have the fewest coronavirus restrictions, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 18 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the fewest restrictions.

  • Requirement to Wear a Face Mask in Public: Double Weight (~6.78 Points)
  • Travel Restrictions: Full Weight (~3.39 Points)
  • Large Gatherings Restrictions: Triple Weight (~10.17 Points)
  • Statewide School Restart: Double Weight (~6.78 Points)
  • Reopening of Restaurants and Bars: Quadruple Weight (~13.56 Points)
  • State Guidance on Customer Health Checks at Restaurants: Full Weight (~3.39 Points)
  • Reopening of Non-Essential Businesses: Double Weight (~6.78 Points)
  • Legislation on Business Immunity from COVID-19 Claims: Double Weight (~6.78 Points)
  • Working from Home Requirements/Recommendations: Double Weight (~6.78 Points)
  • Workplace Temperature Screening: Half Weight (~1.69 Points)
  • Child Care Programs Reopening: Double Weight (~6.78 Points)
  • Strictness of “Shelter in Place” Order: Triple Weight (~10.17 Points)
  • Enforcement or Penalties for COVID-19 Legislation Non-Compliance: Half Weight (~1.69 Points)
  • Presence of Multistate Agreements to Reopen: Full Weight (~3.39 Points)
  • State Court Closure or Suspension: Double Weight (~6.78 Points)
  • Guidance on Elective Surgery and Medical Procedures: Half Weight (~1.69 Points)
  • Guidance for Assisted Living Facilities Related to COVID-19: Half Weight (~1.69 Points)

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