• States with loose coronavirus restrictions and lax safety measures are the same ones seeing a surge in coronavirus infections.
  • Without proper safety precautions in place, Dr. Fauci recently said the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. could hit 400,000 before the end of the year.
  • Fauci this week advised people in 23 states to “hold off” on large Thanksgiving celebrations as indoor gatherings can serve as superspreader events.

One of the more interesting aspects of the coronavirus is that infection rates tend to vary wildly from state to state. This, of course, shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given that some states were quick to take the coronavirus threat seriously while others were inexplicably lax in their response. We’re even seeing this dynamic play out today as the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly in states all across the country. As it stands now, there’s an indirect correlation between an increase in coronavirus cases and the number of COVID-19 restrictions implemented by individual states.

Recently, WalletHub took a close look at which states are implementing broad coronavirus restrictions and which ones aren’t. The findings are based on 17 variables, a list which includes whether or not restaurants are allowed to remain open and at what capacity. Other restrictions examined include face mask requirements in public, office temperature screenings, school reopenings, work from home requirements, and more. All told, the data found that states with the least restrictive coronavirus safety measures align very closely with the states currently seeing a surge in new coronavirus infections.

In compiling the data, each state was given a score wherein a higher score maps to fewer restrictions. All that said, listed below are the states with the fewest coronavirus restrictions:

  1. South Dakota has a score of 83.93
  2. Idaho has a score of 81.40
  3. Utah has a score of 80.09
  4. Oklahoma has a score of 75.89
  5. Iowa has a score of 75.48
  6. Wisconsin has a score of 70.71
  7. Wyoming has a score of 70.42
  8. Missouri has a score of 69.64
  9. North Dakota has a score of 69.52
  10. Arkansas has a score of 68.16

And as we detailed earlier in the week, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Idaho, and Arkansas are currently experiencing some of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the country right now.

North Dakota and Wisconsin in particular are currently seeing a rate of coronavirus infections that dwarfs what each respective state experienced during the first few months of the pandemic. On October 1, for example, Wisconsin saw 3,000 new coronavirus cases. As a point of contrast, Wisconsin’s coronavirus infection rate remained below 3,000 March all the way through mid-September. On June 11, for instance, Wisconsin saw just 320 new cases.

Looking ahead, the coronavirus situation in the U.S. appears somewhat dire. Cases are rising across the country and colder weather, coupled with the impending flu season, has some experts anticipating an absolutely massive spike of new infections come November and December.

Earlier today, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the current coronavirus death toll (which currently stands at about 210,000) could nearly double before the end of the year. “The models tell us if we don’t do what we need to in the fall and winter, we could have 300,000-400,000 COVID-19 deaths,” Fauci said.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.