ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As the United States continues its efforts to overcome the seemingly never-ending Coronavirus pandemic and the omicron variant, staying safe is one of Americans’ top concerns. Safety is also key to getting the economy back on track, as the lower COVID-19 transmission and death rates are in a state, the more likely people are to be comfortable returning to in-person shopping.

As of March 28, around 66% of the nation’s population has been fully vaccinated against the virus. Some states are already safer than others, though, based on how well they have kept the pandemic under control and how well they are vaccinating. In order to find out the safest states in the COVID-19 pandemic, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across five key metrics– the rates of COVID-19 transmission, positive testing, hospitalizations, and death, as well as the share of the eligible population getting vaccinated.

New York State, most notably, ranked number one for highest vaccination rate of all states. This rate was tied with Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Factoring in positive testing rates, hospitalization rates, and death rates, New York State was ranked the sixth-safest state overall for safety during COVID.

Just edging New York State was the commonwealth of Massachusetts, where high vaccination rates coupled with low hospitalizations gave the bay state a third-place finish. The state saw low COVID death rates throughout the pandemic as well, according to the study.

Safest states during COVID

Source: WalletHub
Overall Rank* StateTotal Score 
1Maryland82.92
2Hawaii81.51
3Massachusetts81.45
4Rhode Island80.12
5New Jersey80.07
6New York79.06
7District of Columbia78.36
8North Carolina77.31
9New Hampshire77.09
10Florida75.42
11Vermont75.18
12Connecticut73.35
13Pennsylvania72.52
14South Carolina72.20
15Colorado72.08
16South Dakota71.78
17Nebraska71.45
18Illinois71.20
19California70.90
20Virginia70.33
21Washington70.24
22Delaware68.44
23Maine68.29
24Minnesota65.46
25Oregon63.51
26Alabama61.94
27Texas58.20
28Tennessee55.85
29Kansas55.56
30Montana54.72
31Iowa**54.10
32Indiana53.72
33Louisiana53.71
34North Dakota53.05
35Michigan52.94
36Ohio52.30
37Nevada51.13
38New Mexico49.50
39Idaho48.82
40Mississippi48.17
41Georgia48.09
42Missouri45.51
43Alaska41.14
44Wyoming39.81
45Wisconsin37.65
46Oklahoma37.51
47Utah35.17
48Arkansas33.47
49Arizona28.88
50Kentucky18.68
51West Virginia16.76
Courtesy WalletHub.

In order to identify the safest states during the COVID-19 pandemic, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across five key metrics, each weighted differently. These metrics are listed below, with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the safest conditions.

  • Vaccination Rate: Double Weight (~25.00 Points)
    • Note: This metric refers to the share of the population age 12 and older initiating vaccination as of March 28, 2022.
  • Positive Testing Rate: Full Weight (~12.50 Points)
    • Note: This metric refers to the positive COVID-19 testing rate in the state between March 9, 2022 and March 15, 2022.
  • Hospitalization Rate: Full Weight (~12.50 Points)
    • Note: This metric refers to the COVID-19 hospitalization rate in the state between March 10, 2022 and March 16, 2022.
  • Death Rate: Triple Weight (~37.50 Points)
    • Note: This metric refers to the COVID-19 death rate in the state between March 22, 2022 and March 28, 2022.
  • Estimated Transmission Rate: Full Weight (~12.50 Points)
    • Note: This metric refers to the current COVID-19 reproduction number, which is an estimate of the average number of people to whom an infected person will transmit the COVID-19 virus.

A weighted average across all metrics was then determined to calculate an overall score for each state. The resulting scores were used to rank-order the states.