The District of Columbia had the fewest COVID-19-related deaths in the nation during the week of Aug. 11-17, according to a new survey.
The nation’s capital ranked as the seventh-safest state during the pandemic.
Personal finance website WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across five key metrics: rates of COVID-19 transmission, positive testing, hospitalizations, deaths, and the share of the eligible population getting vaccinated.
The authors of the study wrote that staying safe is one of Americans’ top concerns.
They said, “safety is also essential for getting the economy back on track, as the lower COVID-19 transmission and deaths are in a state, the fewer restrictions there will be, and the more confidence people will have to shop in person.”
While states have fully reopened, the study authors wrote that getting back to normal means a fully vaccinated population.
As of Thursday, approximately 51 percent of the American population is vaccinated.
The authors spell out that some states are safer than others.
Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Maryland ranked first through sixth, respectively, in overall safety.
While having the fewest deaths, the District ranked seventh overall.
New Hampshire, New York and New Jersey completed the top 10.
Virginia finished 18th.
Vermont, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey had the highest vaccine rate.
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Vermont and Maine enjoyed the lowest positive test rate.
Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and North Dakota had the lowest hospitalizations.
Vermont, California, Connecticut and Wisconsin followed Washington, D.C., with the lowest death rates.
Southern states such as Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Texas, and Alabama had the most unvaccinated residents, hospitalizations, and deaths.
“Following the guidance provided by public health officials at this point are the best measures to ensure safety, wear a mask, wash your hands, and maintain distance,” said WalletHub expert James W. Keck, an associate professor of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University.
“Get the vaccine when it is available. Facilities should be frequently sanitized and well ventilated if occupied,” Keck said. “Limit exposure when you can, put up shields in appropriate areas if you must deal with the public. Recovery is not going to be quick even if we get a large part of the population immunized.”
Further, the media “should provide clear information about benefits, risks, knowns, and unknowns,” said Andreas Handel, a WalletHub expert and associate professor and associate department head and graduate coordinator in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the College of Public Health – University of Georgia.