Idaho ranked as least safe state during the pandemic

Idaho was ranked the least safe state in the country during the pandemic.

Safety has been a top concern and a new survey from WalletHub takes a look at all states across the U.S., including District of Columbia. The survey compared them based on five metrics: COVID transmission, positive testing, hospitalizations, deaths and eligible population getting vaccinated.

Not only that, Idaho was also ranked among states with the highest hospitalization, death, transmission and positive testing rates. For deaths, Idaho tied with West Virginia. As for transmission, Idaho tied with Michigan.

In response to the survey, press secretary for Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s office Marissa Morrison said the governor has repeatedly and will continue to emphasize the importance of the vaccine as being the state’s best way to stay safe. She added that Idaho was ranked 5th for both best economy and best place to start a business in the U.S., among other rankings in other WalletHub surveys.

“The Governor is very optimistic about the future of Idaho,” Morrison said.

Washington state was near the middle, placing 23rd on the COVID safety list.

Of all 51 areas surveyed, Connecticut was at the top of the safest states during the pandemic.

The survey noted that Idaho only provides vaccine data for recipients who are 18 and older, in line with state laws.

According to the CDC, around 68 percent of people 18 and older are fully vaccinated. In Idaho, 56 percent of people 18 and older are vaccinated.

It’s been a tiring, difficult fight for Idaho as Saturday marks one month of the state activating Crisis Standards of Care. North Idaho has been working under that designation for even longer.

“I’m here to tell you that we’ve lost the war. That COVID is here to stay, and the reason it is here to stay is because we cannot vaccinate enough of the public to fully eradicate the disease,” said Steven Nemerson, the chief clinical officer of St. Alphonsus.

Unvaccinated people make up a majority of people hospitalized. On Wednesday, Dr. Robert Scoggins, the ICU medical director checked on at least 12 COVID ICU patients. He said all 12 were unvaccinated.

“It’s frustrating from a health care perspective that many of those patients don’t need to be there. Many of them realize they probably should’ve done something different prior to getting there,” Scoggins said. “It’s very frustrating to see that, to see their suffering and to take care of them.”

The data used in the ranking were collected from U.S. Census Bureau, CDC, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, COVID-19 Electronic Laboratory Reporting and epiforecasts.

You can find the full list and how they gathered their data here.

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