A new study ranked Tennessee as having one of the least aggressive responses in the country to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a survey released Tuesday by WalletHub, Tennessee’s response to COVID-19 is the ninth least aggressive in the nation, despite having the 12th most confirmed cases in the country as of Tuesday.
The survey compared the responses of all 50 states and the District of Columbia using 35 key metrics, such as statewide school closures, activating the National Guard, closing bars and restaurants, and banning large public gatherings.
Each state’s response was assessed across the three general categories of “prevention and containment,” “risk factors and infrastructure,” and “economic impact.”
“We evaluated those dimensions using 35 relevant metrics … with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest value,” the company said in announcing the study. “We then determined each state and the District’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.”
Wyoming was ranked as having the least aggressive response in the nation, followed by Mississippi, Texas, Nevada, Oklahoma, Missouri, Hawaii, Kansas, Tennessee, and Indiana.
On the other end of the scale, Rhode Island was listed as the state with the most aggressive measures for responding to the pandemic, followed by Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Washington, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Minnesota, Vermont, and the District of Columbia.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced Monday that he has ordered all K-12 public schools in the state to close through March 31. The governor and legislative leaders also decided to cancel “all remaining legislative business” apart from passing a state budget.
“Today’s action will move us into a position to utilize additional emergency funds as needed and relax provisions of certain laws to provide the flexibility needed to respond to this disease,” Lee said last week after declaring a state of emergency in Tennessee. “While the risk to the general public remains low, we encourage all Tennesseans to exercise caution and maintain good hygiene practices as there are serious risks to our vulnerable populations. We will continue to evaluate and adapt our position accordingly to fit what we believe is best for Tennesseans.”
Tennessee now has 98 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Notably, the 18-49 age range has the most confirmed cases of the virus.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to anthony.go[email protected].
Photo “Coronavirus Testing” by Gov. Tom Wolf. CC BY 2.0.