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This state has done the best job of containing the coronavirus

Published Jul 7th, 2020 10:12PM EDT
Coronavirus update
Image: Audrey McAvoy/AP/Shutterstock

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  • Those of you looking for a more positive coronavirus update than what you may be seeing a lot of in the news these days may be interested to know the one place in the US where you’re statistically the least like to catch the coronavirus right now.
  • That place is Hawaii, which has done the best job of keeping its numbers and rate of transmission low, though it’s not without risk and is starting to see some uptick in recent days.
  • Starting August 1, visitors to the state can bypass the mandatory 14-day quarantine period by presenting a negative COVID 19 test result when they arrive.

Some of you hardy souls, undaunted by the specter of a surge in coronavirus cases around the country at the moment, are either deep into planning your next bit of vacation travel — or have even already embarked on said trip, getting your first taste of what this new era in public health holds for travelers. We certainly can’t say we blame you. Being cooped up for months because of the coronavirus pandemic — watching cases spike, millions get infected, and some cities even come to the precipice of locking down again — has been certainly a traumatic experience to live through, so no wonder people are thinking about trying to relax any way they can.

Looking around the US to figure out where is safe to visit right now, however, can be a bit of a perplexing exercise, to say the least. You don’t want to leave an environment that you know and travel to somewhere that has less of a handle on the pandemic.

Which is why, if you ever wanted an excuse to visit Hawaii — now you have it. Of all 50 states in the union, Hawaii is where you’re statistically the least likely to contract the COVID-19 virus. That’s according to an interactive risk map of the US created by a partnership that includes the Harvard Global Health Institute, Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, the Rockefeller Foundation, CovidActNow, Covid-Local, CIDRAP, and other groups.

You can see Hawaii in the graphic below, presented just to the left of Texas, and it’s mostly shaded green — representing the lowest risk level:

You’ll notice that other states have patches of green, like Alaska. In fact, it, too, is shown as mostly green — but the map notes that currently, the number of daily new cases per 100,000 in Hawaii (presented as a 7-day moving average) is 1.3, while for Alaska that number is 5.2. Thus, our pronouncement that Hawaii is a statistically safer place to be.

Be that as it may, however, it’s still important to point out that the risk is not zero in Hawaii or anywhere in the US right now. Over the July 4 holiday, according to news reports, Hawaii saw 20 additional coronavirus cases … each day for four consecutive days.

Likewise, per USA Today, 14 flight attendees tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days after attending training at Hawaiian Airlines’ Honolulu headquarters and are now being quarantined, according to the airline. And on a related note, along these lines, new rules for visitors to the state kick in on August 1.

That’s when arrivals to Hawaii have to present a negative coronavirus test result if they want to avoid the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine period for new visitors.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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