STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – New York ranked 29th among U.S. states with the fewest coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and is the least restrictive state when it comes to child-care regulations, according to a recent study.
South Dakota ranked as the state with the fewest coronavirus restrictions, according to the study, conducted by the personal-finance website WalletHub. South Dakota, one of only five states that have taken no action on face coverings in public, ranked first in part because it has also fully reopened bars, according to Jill Gonzalez, a WalletHub analyst.
“South Dakota has lifted all restrictions on large gatherings, and it is one of only five states that never required non-essential businesses to close during the pandemic,” she said.
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Nearby, New Jersey ranked 47th, while Pennsylvania landed in 50th place among all states and the District of Columbia. California, the state which has experienced the most coronavirus cases overall, took last place in the study and remains the state with the most restrictions in place.
“The state requires everyone to wear face masks in public, has banned all gatherings and has newly closed non-essential businesses,’' Gonzalez said. “California is the only state with a limited statewide quarantine in place, while a few other states put restrictions on high-risk individuals only.”
In terms of child-care centers reopening, New York took first place in the study, which evaluated several areas of restriction.
With many states delaying the later phases of their reopening or even bringing back restrictions they already lifted due to spikes in COVID-19, the personal-finance website decided to release updated rankings for its ongoing study, States with the Fewest Coronavirus Restrictions.
To identify which states have the fewest coronavirus restrictions, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the nation’s capital across 19 key metrics. The data set ranged from whether the state has any penalties for non-compliance with COVID-19 legislation to whether the state has required face masks in public and health checks at restaurants.
New York has held steady in its ranking in recent months, having landed in the 29th spot in the July 21 study, as well. A month earlier, on June 23, New York ranked 47th out of 51, as restrictions remained very tight amid the height of the pandemic.
Rankings are based on data available as of 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug.10. Here’s how New York ranked in other individual areas of restriction, with first place meaning very few restrictions are in place and 25th being average:
Requirement to Wear a Face Mask in Public: 18Workplace Temperature Screening: 28Travel Restrictions: 15Large Gatherings Restrictions: 15Strictness of “Shelter in Place” Order: 48Reopening of Non-Essential Businesses: 22Reopening of Restaurants and Bars: 14Working from Home Requirements/Recommendations: 16