As COVIVD–19 got a stranglehold on the nation, some cities, counties and states began imposing restrictions as a way to slow the disease.

With some states, including California, beginning to open up for business and relax limitations put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on the States with the Fewest Coronavirus Restrictions, as well as accompanying videos.

To identify which states have the fewest coronavirus restrictions, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 9 key metrics. Its data set ranges from limits on large gatherings to the presence of a “shelter-in-place” order and whether restaurants and bars have reopened.

Below, you can see highlights from the report for California, along with a WalletHub Q&A.

Coronavirus Restrictions in California (1=Fewest, 25=Avg.):

  • 1st – Requirement to Wear a Face Mask in Public
  • 1st – Travel Restrictions
  • 39th – Large Gatherings Restrictions
  • 48th – “Shelter in Place” Order
  • 35th – Reopening of Non-Essential Businesses
  • 18th – Reopening of Restaurants and Bars

Note: Rankings are based on data available as of 12:30 p.m. ET on Monday, May 4, 2020.

Q&A with WalletHub

Q: When states start to open up their economies, how likely are people to start going out again right away?

A: “When states start to reopen their economies, many people will be hesitant to go out initially. We’ve heard a lot of conflicting information about what is safe and what is not since the beginning of the pandemic, so it’s understandable that some people won’t trust that everything is indeed all clear right away. It may take a while to shake lingering coronavirus fears, considering we’re starting from a point where around 60 percent of people are even worried about the safety of having packages or food delivered to their home,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “When people do start to leave the house again, we can expect some precautionary behaviors to carry over, such as wearing masks, a habit currently practiced by 60 percent of Americans.”

Q: What can citizens do to maintain their safety in the states that have the fewest restrictions?

A: “In order to stay safe in the states that have the fewest coronavirus restrictions, people can wear masks and gloves in public even if it’s not required, and they can minimize the amount of time they spend around other people,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Employees whose jobs allow for working from home could request that their employers let them do so for another few months, and those who can’t work remotely should make sure their workplaces are cleaned regularly and have measures in place to reduce crowding.”

Q: Why does South Dakota rank as the state with the fewest coronavirus restrictions?

A: “South Dakota ranks as the state with the fewest coronavirus restrictions in large part because it is one of only seven states that never required statewide school closures during the coronavirus crisis, and the only state that never announced a statewide closure of bars and restaurants,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “South Dakota has imposed some restrictions, like a ban on large gatherings, but is one of the first states lifting that limitation. One major COVID-19 restriction that South Dakota still has in place is the state’s guidance to postpone non-essential elective surgeries.”

Q: New York has the most coronavirus cases in the U.S. How has that impacted their restrictions?

A: “New York ranks as having the seventh most coronavirus restrictions in the U.S.,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Some of the biggest restrictions that New York has imposed during the COVID-19 crisis are a limited statewide quarantine and bans on all gatherings, along with a requirement for all citizens to wear a face mask in public when social distancing is not possible, which is a measure that only a few states have made mandatory so far.”

For the full report, please click here.

Image Sources

  • #stayhome: Pixaby