South Carolina had 5th least effective response to COVID-19, study shows

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A new study ranked South Carolina as the fifth worst state at handling the COVID-19 pandemic based on how effective each state’s response was.

The study, published by Sykes, found South Carolina had the fifth least effective response using data from January through March 2021. South Carolina also had the 4th most cases in 2021 per 100,000 residents.

Despite having the fifth least effective response to COVID-19, South Carolina ranked first in highest weekly growth of vaccine doses distributed in 2021, according to the data.

To determine rankings, Sykes looked at the average number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, the average test positivity, the average number of hospital admissions per 100 beds, the average percentage of hospitals with supply shortages, the average weekly growth rate of vaccine dose distribution per 100,000, the percent of vaccine doses used, the first states to issue mask mandates, and states with stay-at-home orders.

South Carolina had an overall score of 37.38. The state with the least effective response — Kentucky — had an overall score of 28.33, according to the study. The study found Hawaii had the most effective response with an overall score of 84.14.

Most of the states in the bottom 10 are in the south, according to the study. The only two states in the bottom 10 not in the south are New York and Utah.

New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Hawaii were the first states to issue mask mandates, according to the study. All but two of those states — Rhode Island and New Jersey — ranked in the top 10 for states with the most effective responses.

The study found that 42 of 50 states issued stay-at-home or safer-at-home orders. Arkansas, Utah, and Oklahoma didn’t issue them and all placed in the bottom 10. North Dakota also didn’t issue a stay-at-home order and placed in the top 10.

Florida placed in the bottom 10 for overall response, but did better addressing hospital supply shortages, according to the study.

Full state rankings (1 is best, 50 is worst):

  1. Hawaii
  2. Maryland
  3. Washington
  4. Connecticut
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. North Dakota
  7. Oregon
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Illinois
  10. New Mexico
  11. Maine
  12. Montana
  13. Minnesota
  14. Ohio
  15. Michigan
  16. Rhode Island
  17. Colorado
  18. Idaho
  19. Kansas
  20. South Dakota
  21. Alaska
  22. Wyoming
  23. Vermont
  24. Nevada
  25. New Jersey
  26. Massachusetts
  27. Louisiana
  28. Missouri
  29. Indiana
  30. Delaware
  31. Mississippi
  32. California
  33. Iowa
  34. Alabama
  35. Nebraska
  36. New Hampshire
  37. Tennessee
  38. West Virginia
  39. North Carolina
  40. Virginia
  41. Texas
  42. Arizona
  43. Florida
  44. New York
  45. Arkansas
  46. South Carolina
  47. Utah
  48. Georgia
  49. Oklahoma
  50. Kentucky

View the full study and methodology here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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