State’s COVID-19 Level Worse Than Entire Developed World?
Wisconsin worse off than 31 states and probably every developed country.
The latest analysis of COVID-19 data by the New York Times is sobering news for Wisconsin.
For starters the state ranks 18th, higher than 31 other states and worse than every other Midwestern state, in the per capita increase in coronavirus cases. Wisconsin had 116 cases per 100,00 over the most recent seven-day period measured, compared to just eight cases for Vermont, which was lowest in the U.S. and 48 for Michigan, which was lowest in the Midwest. Florida ranked the worst, with 344 cases.
The Times did another analysis of per-capita increases showing the U.S. ranked far worse than every developed country in the world, with a level of COVID-19 cases that was about at least six times higher than the second-worst-hit developed country, Sweden, The analysis also found that “the surge in the United States is so extreme that, once adjusted for population… 10 states are recording more new cases than any country in the world.” Those states included Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, Texas, Idaho and Tennessee.
Another indication of how poorly Wisconsin is doing was a Times analysis showing the surge in cases nationally is not caused by more testing. “The average number of tests conducted nationwide has grown by 80 percent since early June, to 780,000 per day,” the story reported. “Daily case counts have grown by 215 percent in the same period.”
“Thirty-one states show an increase in cases beyond what would be expected from expanded testing,” the report found, which included Wisconsin. Wisconsin had 465 more cases per day than would have been expected, which put it far behind worst-case Florida (8,743 more cases per day than expected), but with a higher number than all but 11 states. This ranking, however was not done an a per-capita basis, which could skew the per-state comparison.
But all the data combined creates an alarming portrait of how Wisconsin is doing in fighting the pandemic. One obvious explanation is the lack of restrictions in Wisconsin: only one state, South Dakota, has less pandemic restrictions, a recent analysis found. The analysis by Wallet Hub updates a past report and looks at nine kinds of restrictions, including mask mandates, strictness of stay-at-home order, reopening of bars and restaurants and workplace temperature screenings, and finds Wisconsin is the second-least restrictive state.
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