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States Slowing Down the Most During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

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The coronavirus pandemic has replaced the hustle and bustle of everyday life with social distancing. Americans are discouraged, or even legally prevented, from going out except for essential errands or work. Some industries have naturally suffered from this more than others – retail and recreation visits are down 45 percent from their normal rates, while transit stations have seen a decrease of 49 percent, for example. However, the drop-off in people leaving their homes has been less pronounced in some states than others.

With many industries in the U.S. ground to a halt because of the coronavirus social distancing restrictions, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on the States Slowing Down the Most During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In order to find out which states are slowing down most during the COVID-19 pandemic, WalletHub used Google data to compare the 50 states across six key metrics. Each metric measures the percentage point increase or decrease in visits to various types of places due to coronavirus. North Carolina ranked fairly average coming in at #32. Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A.

States Slowing Down the Most States Slowing Down the Least
1. Hawaii 41. West Virginia
2. New York 42. Tennessee
3. New Jersey 43. Indiana
4. Vermont 44. Ohio
5. Nevada 45. Alabama
6. Florida 46. Iowa
7. California 47. Kentucky
8. Montana 48. Arkansas
9. Michigan 49. Kansas
10. Massachusetts 50. Nebraska

Source: WalletHub

Q&A with WalletHub

Should we be encouraged or discouraged by the fact that people are going out much less often?

“We should be encouraged by the fact that far fewer people are going out. That means Americans are taking social distancing seriously, and that there will be far less exposure to the virus than there could have been had these self-isolation guidelines not been put in place,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “At the same time, fewer people leaving home means less money flowing into the economy, so it’s important for the government to keep taking measures to protect both businesses and consumers financially.”

Are states slowing down enough to counteract the spread of COVID-19?

“Most states have put in place restrictive stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders for their residents by now, but there are still a few states that lack these directives, which has led to a late spike in coronavirus cases,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Individual citizens can do better at social distancing, too. There are people attempting to have their governments reopen businesses immediately, which ironically might cause even more of a delay. While it’s understandable for both social and economic reasons that people want lockdowns to end, these rules should extend until it’s clear we’re through the worst of the COVID-19 crisis.”

Is a slowdown sufficient by itself to stop the spread of COVID-19?

“Everyone spending less time outside the home is a key way to help curb the spread of COVID-19, but it is not sufficient by itself. In order to most efficiently combat the pandemic, we need rapid testing at points of entry into the economy, such as workplaces and transit hubs,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “The government needs to focus on keeping people safe while simultaneously preparing for the eventual restart of the economy. We need to create measures enabling vulnerable people to stay at home longer while letting the majority of the population get back to work.”

To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit:
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