A new study by the financial analysis firm WalletHub ranks Oklahoma the sixth-least aggressive state in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
The study sought to evaluate "which states are taking the largest actions to combat coronavirus," and compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across "46 key metrics."
Data evaluated ranges from tested cases of COVID-19 per capita, to school closures, intensive care hospital beds and shelter-in-place policies.
"Many states have taken the CDC’s advice and have legally enforced social distancing, to the point of banning even small gatherings, closing all non-essential businesses, shutting down schools and even ordering residents to shelter in place in some cases," the report's authors stated.
States that have been most aggressive in implementing such policies ranked the highest in the study. The five "most aggressive" states in responding to the pandemic, according to the study, starting at the top, are California, Rhode Island, Maryland, New Hampshire and New Jersey.
Oklahoma narrowly missed being in the bottom five, coming in 46th out of 51, ahead of, in order, Arkansas, Idaho, Tennessee, Nevada and Mississippi.
Key factors and rankings affecting Oklahoma's overall ranking included (with 1 being the best score and 25 being average):
• 33rd – State and local public health laboratories per capita.
• 44th – Tested cases of COVID-19 per capita.
• 37th – Public hospital system quality.
• 39th – Share of employment from small businesses.
• 17th – Population density.
• 23rd – Share of workers with access to paid sick leave.
• 27th – Total public health emergency preparedness (PHEP) funding per capita.
• 26th – Public healthcare spending per capita.
In the three larger, umbrella categories, Oklahoma ranked 43rd in prevention and containment, 46th in risk factors and available infrastructure to battle the virus and 34th in likely economic impact due to an outbreak of the virus.
For the full WalletHub study, visit https://wallethub.com/edu/most-aggressive-states-against-coronavirus/72307.