If you’re looking to travel during the Christmas holiday, you may want to be mindful of your destination. A new report by Forbes ranks the 10 most riskiest states to travel to during the winter holiday season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Public health experts warned Americans that traveling during Thanksgiving would spread the virus even more. Still, millions of people travelled, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) saw record numbers of travelers after a year of lockdowns and travel warnings.
According to a report by AAA, an estimated 84.5 million Americans are set to travel between December 23 and January 3. That’s about a 34 million decrease from last year, but warnings from health officials remain.
The list from Forbes considers risk factors like if a state has a mask mandate or not, the number of new daily confirmed cases per 100,000 people, and COVID-19 test positivity rate.
All of the states on the list have surpassed their “safety” threshold of positive test rate. According to the World Health Organization, rates of positive COVID-19 tests should really be below 5%.
Here’s a look at the list.
There is a statewide mask mandate here. There are about 79.3 new cases per day and the state has a 15.9% positivity rate. Governor Steve Sisolak extended restrictions on gatherings ahead of the holiday and restaurants will remain on limited capacity through January 15.
There’s no statewide mask mandate, even though Governor Kevin Stitt contracted the virus this summer. Some cities, like Tulsa, have created their own mask mandates. The state sees about 80.5 new cases a day and has a positive test rate of 20.8%.
Governor John Carney implemented a statewide mask mandate that includes requiring masks in all public places, even in outdoor gatherings where social distancing is possible. The state has an average of 81.2 new confirmed cases daily and about 8.9% of tests are positive, which has risen for the past two weeks.
The state has seen an 18% drop in the number of new daily cases following a statewide mask mandate from Governor Gary Herbert. In the past seven days, the state has seen a daily average of 82.8 new cases.
There is a mask mandate in the state, and Governor Tom Wolf put restrictions in place through January 4, including closing gyms, and an indoor dining ban. The state has seen about 83.1 new confirmed cases per day.
Following a spike in the number of cases and surge in hospitalization rates, the state reinstated COVID-related restrictions. Governor Gavin Newsom has had a mask mandate in place since June 18. He ordered a three-week stay-at-home order following the surge and 87.9 new daily cases and a 12.8% coronavirus test positivity rate.
The state sees about 90.2 new cases a day. There’s a 12.4% positivity rate that Governor Eric Holcomb responded to with stricter guidelines and an extension of a statewide mask mandate. The number of high-risk counties more than doubled in seven days.
The state records about 91.5 new confirmed cases a day, and has a 14.5% positive test rate. There is no statewide mask mandate in Arizona, however some cities and counties have implemented their own rules on masks.
2. Rhode Island
Currently, the country’s smallest state has become a hotspot in the Northeast region. Every day there is an average of 110.4 new cases recorded and a 7.2% positive test rate. Governor Gina Raimondo closed businesses like gyms, bars, and reduced restaurant capacity. There’s been a statewide mask requirement in place since May.
Governor Bill Lee has not mandated a statewide mask requirement, despite calls from healthcare workers. The state sees 128.3 new cases per day and 18.1% of all COVID-19 tests come back positive. Several counties have implemented their own mask guidelines to combat the spread.
The CDC guidelines on COVID-19 can be found here.
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