The FINANCIAL — According to the CDC, adults age 65 and older are at a higher risk for severe illness due to COVID-19 infection. Caring.com has updated its Safest States study to help educate our country’s senior population and their loved ones about states that are effectively slowing the spread and limiting the severity of the coronavirus.
Surprisingly, half of the prior Top 10 Safest States fell out of the Top 10 (California, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, and South Dakota), with five states rising to take their spots: Oregon, Kansas, New Hampshire, Utah and West Virginia. Vermont is now ranked the safest in the nation, followed by Maine, Hawaii, Oregon, and Alaska.
Caring.com evaluated all 50 states based on aggressive social distancing measures, as well as prevention and preparedness procedures. Although there are no changes in the set of metrics since the first ranking, a higher priority was placed on specific results, such as the relative number of deaths and cases in each state. The scoring system now focuses less on prevention and preparedness and shifts priority to current infection rates, medical infrastructure, and compliance with social distancing policies.
“We’ve seen a lot of changes in the way states are responding to the coronavirus since our initial study in May, so we analyzed the latest data and re-evaluated high-risk areas for seniors,” says Caring.com’s CEO, Jim Rosenthal. “Seniors are still the most vulnerable when it comes to the coronavirus, and the revised rankings highlight which states are doing best in keeping seniors safe and where more work needs to be done.”
The most significant changes since Caring’s prior report in May are among states that previously held top 10 positions. For example, Montana, which was formally ranked as the second safest state, is now listed at number 14. California dropped from 5 to 13; while South Dakota fell from 9 to 28. Nevada and New Mexico declined further on the list to 34 and 40, respectively.
Conversely, Caring.com’s study also highlighted some positive changes with some states that were previously ranked lower rising to the top 10. These include West Virginia, Utah, and Kansas all of which moved from the bottom of the list into the top 10, along with Oregon and New Hampshire which rose in ranking from spots 14 and 12, respectively.
Latest Ranking of Top 10 Safest States for Seniors During COVID-19