(KTAL/KMSS) — A new study ranked Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma in the Top 25 worst states at handling the COVID-19 pandemic based on how effective each state’s response was.
The study, published by Sykes, found Louisiana had the 24th least effective response using data from January through March 2021. Arkansas had the sixth least effective response, Oklahoma had the second least effective response, and Texas had the 10th least effective response. Texas also had the seventh most cases in 2021 per 100,000 residents.
Despite having the second least effective response to COVID-19, Oklahoma ranked eighth in the highest weekly growth of vaccine doses distributed in 2021, according to the data.
To determine rankings, Sykes looked at the average number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, the average test positivity, the average number of hospital admissions per 100 beds, the average percentage of hospitals with supply shortages, the average weekly growth rate of vaccine dose distribution per 100,000, the percent of vaccine doses used, the first states to issue mask mandates, and states with stay-at-home orders.
Louisiana had an overall score of 50.59, Arkansas had an overall score of 37.57, Oklahoma had an overall score of 33.37, and Texas had an overall score of 38.99. The state with the least effective response — Kentucky — had an overall score of 28.33, according to the study. The study found Hawaii had the most effective response with an overall score of 84.14.
Most of the states in the bottom 10 are in the south, according to the study. The only two states in the bottom 10 not in the south are New York and Utah.
New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Hawaii were the first states to issue mask mandates, according to the study. All but two of those states — Rhode Island and New Jersey — ranked in the top 10 for states with the most effective responses.
The study found that 42 of 50 states issued stay-at-home or safer-at-home orders. Arkansas and Oklahoma did not issue them and all placed in the bottom 10. North Dakota also didn’t issue a stay-at-home order and placed it in the top 10.
Florida placed in the bottom 10 for overall response, but did better addressing hospital supply shortages, according to the study.
Full state rankings (1 is best, 50 is worst):
- North Dakota
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
- New Jersey
- New Hampshire
- West Virginia
- North Carolina
- New York
- South Carolina
View the full study and methodology here.