Safest States to Kick off the Holidays
Travel will look much different this Thanksgiving as the country continues to navigate the uncharted territory that is the coronavirus pandemic. For those crossing state lines this Turkey Day, WalletHub recently compared all 50 states across 10 key metrics for a safe Thanksgiving, including, most importantly, how each is handling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in addition to general safety indicators such as crime rate and the average number of DUI-related fatalities around the holiday. Here are the 20 safest states based on that research.
With a total score of 61.43, Kentucky edges out neighboring West Virginia for the 20th spot on WalletHub’s list. Those planning to visit this holiday season will be happy to know that the Bluegrass State isn’t restricting travel at the moment.
19. North Carolina
North Carolina scores just slightly better than nearby Kentucky. Currently, the state is paused in Phase 3 of COVID-19 restrictions but restaurants, museums and other attractions can remain open at limited capacity.
Out West, Utah fares well for connectivity, which is crucial in the Zoom era, and trails only one other state when it comes to the fewest DUI-related fatalities in motor vehicle crashes around the Thanksgiving holiday.
17. Rhode Island
Throughout the pandemic, New England has fared the best in terms of limiting COVID-19 transmission but the nation’s smallest state actually performs the worst among that group based on WalletHub’s research, ranking 17th safest nationwide with a total score of 66.82. Currently, Rhode Island is asking out-of-state visitors to quarantine for two weeks unless they can provide a negative test result taken within 72 hours of arrival.
Travelers entering Ohio this Thanksgiving from states reporting COVID-19 positive testing rates of 15 percent or higher are advised to self-quarantine for at least 14 days. As of November 11, there are a dozen states that meet that criteria.
While Colorado is faring better than its neighbor states when it comes to COVID-19 heading into Thanksgiving, more than a dozen of the state’s counties have been listed at the second-highest level of Colorado’s newly adjusted restrictions related to indoor dining and gatherings.
When it comes to combating the spread of coronavirus this holiday season, Oregon is doing better than most states. Keep in mind that Oregon’s total score of 69 is more than three times that of 50th-ranked South Dakota (19.70) but still more than 20 points behind the top-ranked state.
Connecticut is propelled to 13th on WalletHub’s list in part because it has the fourth-lowest crime rate among the 50 states analyzed. However, travelers visiting from any U.S. state or territory with the exception of New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands must quarantine for 14 days and complete a travel health form or risk a hefty fine.
California is one of the safest states for Thanksgiving travel but due to COVID-19, the state is asking that those who arrive from another state or country self-quarantine for at least 14 days as part of its latest travel advisory ahead of the holiday.
Pennsylvania is cracking down on travel this Thanksgiving as case numbers continue to rise. Starting November 20, out-of-state visitors are required to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival or quarantine for 14 days.
Just south of PA, Maryland ranks number one in the nation when it comes to the fewest DUI-related fatalities in motor vehicle crashes around Thanksgiving, according to WalletHub’s research. The Mid-Atlantic state currently has no travel restrictions in place.
9. New Jersey
New Jersey’s low crime (fifth-lowest) rate makes it one of the safest states for holiday travel. Still, visitors from impacted states (those with daily positive case rates higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or with a 10-percent or higher positivity rate) must quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival. As of November 17, 46 states and U.S. jurisdictions are on the list of impacted states.
Hawaii—which launched a pre-travel testing program last month allowing visitors to bypass quarantine with a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of arrival—saw the fewest COVID-19 positive tests in the past week per capita, according to WalletHub. The Aloha State also reported the fourth-lowest COVID-19 hospitalization rate this week.
One of several New England states in the top 10, Massachusetts boasts the lowest property-crime rate per 1,000 residents at 11.80. For perspective, that’s nearly three times lower than the state with the highest in Louisiana (31.62).
Virginia was propelled to sixth place on WalletHub’s list on the strength of having the fourth-fewest COVID-19 positive tests in the past week per capita. Those numbers are fluid, however, so travelers are encouraged to stay up to date in advance of their trip.
Edging out California and Oregon, Washington is the safest state on the West Coast this Thanksgiving, according to WalletHub’s data, posting a comparatively positive hospitalization rate (fifth-lowest) and being one of the most connected states in the nation for those taking their celebrations online.
4. New York
With a total score nearing 79, New York is certainly one of the safest states you could visit this Thanksgiving. At the same time, the state has been among the most aggressive in terms of travel restrictions and recently rolled out testing requirements for out-of-state visitors that will make visiting more challenging compared to previous holidays.
3. New Hampshire
Low crime and a low COVID-19 hospitalization rate are why New Hampshire is one of the safest states travelers can visit this Thanksgiving. The state is one of only three to post a total score of 80 or higher, according to WalletHub.
Maine’s COVID-19 positive test and hospitalization rates remain among the lowest in the country and the state is hoping to keep it that way. Unless visiting from New Hampshire or Vermont, tourists will need proof of a negative coronavirus test result taken within 72 hours of travel to avoid 14-day quarantine.
Vermont is the safest state in America this Thanksgiving, faring best for COVID-19 hospitalization and second-best in terms of positivity rate per capita over the past week. In an effort to keep the state safe, Vermont is requiring out-of-state visitors to complete either a 14-day quarantine or a seven-day quarantine followed by a negative test result.
Source: Read Full Article