Bruce Murphy
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State Has Third Least Restrictive Pandemic Rules

Only South and North Dakota are less restrictive, study finds.

By - Jun 9th, 2020 11:34 am
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2019 Novel Coronavirus. Image by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2019 Novel Coronavirus. Image by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gov. Tony Evers declared that Wisconsin had become “the Wild West” after a May 13th Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling overrode his administration’s stay-at-home restrictions. Actually, he understated the situation, as a new study finds. Wisconsin is now more wide open, with fewer restrictions than nearly the entire United States, including most of the states that were once part of the Wild West.

Before the Supreme Court decision Wisconsin had more restrictive rules than 33 states and the District of Columbia, the study by Wallet Hub found. Today it is more restrictive than only South Dakota and North Dakota. And Wisconsin ranked first or least restrictive in its Requirement to Wear a Face Mask in Public and in Reopening of Child-Care Programs and second-least restrictive for Large Gatherings Restrictions and Reopening of Restaurants and Bars. 

The study looked at 14 different categories of pandemic restrictions and rules and found that the most restrictive states were New Hampshire, followed by California and New Jersey. Ranked in the middle, at the median for restrictiveness, were Michigan and Nevada. 

No state has changed as much — or changed to become less restrictive —during the last month as Wisconsin, the study shows.

Meanwhile, a new global analysis by Randall Bolten, a longtime Silicon Valley executive, UC Berkeley Professor, and author of the book Painting with Numbers, finds that no developed western countries have seen less decline in the coronavirus pandemic than the United States and Sweden. While the typical pattern for the other countries has been a big spike in cases followed by a market decline as social distancing occurred, in the United States there has been a comparatively modest decline with this country typically leading in new COVID-19 cases per day through the month of May. 

COVID-19 New Cases Trends, Selected Countries.

COVID-19 New Cases Trends, Selected Countries.

“The shutdown has been controversial in a nation whose citizens pride themselves on their right to act as they please,” Bolten writes of the United States. “The reopening has now begun, but do we have the same control over the pandemic that the rest of the countries described above have?  The graph suggests that we don’t.”

And no state has moved more quickly to reopen than Wisconsin, which might make us not just an outlier nationally, but globally. 

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