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Vermont was ranked the safest state in America as it pertains to COVID-19, according to a study released Thursday by the personal finance website WalletHub.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, and COVID-19 Electronic Laboratory Reporting, WalletHub compiled information for five key pandemic-related metrics in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., during a week in September.

Contributing significantly to the Green Mountain State’s title as the safest overall, Vermont was tied for first in the two most heavily-weighted categories: vaccination rate and death rate (from Sept. 21 to Sept. 27, 2022).

“In addition to reporting no deaths in the past week, Vermont ranks first when it comes to the share of the population age 12 and over who have received at least one dose of the vaccine,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Increasing the number of people vaccinated is essential for getting control of the pandemic.”

Rounding out the top five in the WalletHub study were North Carolina, Hawaii, Washington, D.C., and Utah. West Virginia was the bottom-rated state in COVID safety, with Arkansas, Iowa, Tennessee and Michigan also in the bottom five. Vermont’s neighbors did not grade as well. New York (18), New Hampshire (21) and Massachusetts (22) all came in around the middle of the pack.

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“The safety level of the country impacts the economy, because it is tied to the lifting of restrictions and it determines how confident people are to go out and spend money,” said Gonzalez.

In addition to its success in vaccination rate and death rate, Vermont was 13th in hospitalization rate, 15th in positive testing rate and 24th in level of community transmission.

Level of community transmission was defined as “the share of counties in each state with a low level of community transmission.”

CDC guidance considers “low,” at this time, to be less than 10 COVID admissions per 100,000 county residents, as well as less than 10 percent of staffed inpatient beds being occupied by COVID patients.

Tory Rich can be reached at trich@manchesterjournal.com, or follow him on Twitter,

@ToryRich6


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