To identify which states have the fewest coronavirus restrictions, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 16 key metrics. Their data set ranges from whether child-care programs and restaurants have reopened to the presence or absence of a “shelter-in-place” order. Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A.
Coronavirus Restrictions in South Carolina (1=Fewest, 25=Avg.):
- 1st – Requirement to Wear a Face Mask in Public
- 1st – Reopening of Child-Care Programs
- 12th – Travel Restrictions
- 2nd – Large Gatherings Restrictions
- 7th – Strictness of “Shelter in Place” Order
- 6th – Reopening of Non-Essential Businesses
- 2nd – Reopening of Restaurants and Bars
Note: Rankings are based on data available as of 12:30 pm ET on Monday, June 22, 2020.
To see the full report, click here.
Q&A with WalletHub
How will 4th of July celebrations be impacted by states’ COVID-19 restrictions?
“States are reopening at different rates, so the degree to which 4th of July celebrations will be impacted depends on the state. Many states are only at the beginning of the reopening processes, so we can expect to see a lot of Independence Day events canceled or heavily restricted in size,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Americans are planning on staying local for the 4th of July this year, as 74 percent will not travel, according to a recent WalletHub survey.”
How have the recent protests across the U.S. affected states’ reopening plans?
“The recent protests throughout the U.S. could both help and hurt states' reopening efforts. On the positive side, the protests may prove to people that it's safer to be outside than they thought, leading to more economic activity sooner. On the negative side, the protests could lead to spikes in COVID-19 cases that might force reopening delays due to public health concerns,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Even if reopening proceeds without delay in a given area, some business owners will face setbacks unrelated to the coronavirus. The rioting that accompanied protests in some cities caused damage to businesses just as they were starting to reopen. Hopefully, damaged businesses can get back on track through insurance or government assistance.”
What should states be most mindful of when reopening?
“States should be most mindful of limiting close contact between residents even as businesses reopen, which means that state legislatures should transition from guidelines on social distancing to laws, such as requiring mask wearing in public places and limiting the number of people per square footage. States can show extra care to vulnerable populations by making sure they are accommodated with free deliveries of essential goods and exclusive hours at all businesses,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Most importantly, state governments need to closely monitor the number of coronavirus cases, prepare for a second wave, and adjust further reopening plans if needed to avoid too much of a strain on hospitals.”
Why does South Dakota rank as the state with the fewest coronavirus restrictions?
“South Dakota ranks as the state with the fewest coronavirus restrictions because it has issued no COVID-19-related guidance or requirements for assisted living facilities and has completely removed all limitations on large gatherings,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “South Dakota is among just six states that didn’t tell people to shelter in place order during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is the only state that didn’t require bars and restaurants to close.”
New York has experienced the most coronavirus cases in the U.S. How has that impacted the state’s restrictions?
“New York ranks as No. 5 for the most coronavirus restrictions in the U.S.,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “New York is one of only nine states that still have some form of quarantine in place, and it currently allows gatherings of only 25 people or fewer. New York recommends workplace temperature screenings in order to help catch potential cases of COVID-19, too.”