CLEVELAND — Editor's note: The above video features Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff discussing the latest on the state's fight against COVID-19.
The fight continues against the COVID-19 pandemic as cases surge around the nation due to variant strains.
Staying safe from coronavirus remains one of the most important concerns of all Americans. With that in mind, WalletHub has put together a study of the safest states in the U.S. based on how well they have kept the pandemic under control and how much they are vaccinating.
Unfortunately, Ohio is near the bottom of that list.
In comparing the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Ohio checks in at No. 47. Putting it another way, the Buckeye State is the fifth least safe state during the COVID-19 pandemic.
WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across five key metrics. The data set included the rates of COVID-19 transmission, positive testing, hospitalizations and death, as well as the share of the eligible population getting vaccinated.
Ohio finished 42nd in vaccination rate, 43rd in positive testing rate, 44th in hospitalization rate, 41st in death rate, and 35th in transmission rate.
Here are the top 10 safest states during the pandemic:
- Rhode Island
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
Florida checked in at No. 10.
The good news is that the U.S. is picking up speed with vaccination, as around 57% of the population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of October 12. Just under 51% of Ohioans have been vaccinated as of October 14.
However, Ohio health leaders are cautioning residents not to declare victory yet. In fact, according to the Ohio Hospital Association:
- One in six hospitalized Ohioans is COVID-19 positive.
- One in four in the ICU is battling COVID.
- Rural hospitals: One-third of all hospitalized patients have COVID-19. About half of those in the ICU have COVID.
Ohio is approaching 1.5 million total COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.
- COVID-19 in Ohio: State reports 5,143 new cases in the last 24 hours
- 'It's far too early for us to claim victory': Ohio health officials urge COVID and flu vaccinations ahead of holiday season
- Cleveland Clinic releases new COVID breakthrough data: 15% of new cases in September were breakthrough infections