Virus Survey Reveals Most, Least Free States: South Dakota Best, Illinois Worst

This April 22, 2008 file photo shows the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota. A U.S. Geological Survey report announced Monday, May 2, 2016, concluded that past fireworks displays at Mount Rushmore are the likely source of a pollutant found in water within the site …
AP Photo/Mike Stewart

States across the country are implementing their own plans for reopening in the wake of the coronavirus, with some allowing citizens to get back to their lives and livelihoods, while others continue to order people to remain at home and stay away from public places.

The personal finance website conducted a survey to determine which states have the most and least freedom as Americans are posed to celebrate Memorial Day.

WalletHub said about its survey:

Americans experienced unprecedented restrictions on their everyday life in order to fight the coronavirus, but now most states have partially reopened. In order to determine the states with the fewest coronavirus restrictions, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 11 key metrics.

Those metrics include whether masks were recommended or required; travel restrictions; large gathering restrictions; school closures; restaurants and bars status; reopening of “non-essential” businesses; child care; strictness of “shelter-in-place” orders; whether a state is part of a multi-state arrangement; suspension or postponement of legislative sessions; and medical services, including elective surgery.

Breitbart News is adding to the list whether each state in the survey has a Republican or Democrat governor. 

The state with the least restrictions is South Dakota (Republican Gov. Kristi Noem).

Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst, said of its report:

Two major reasons why South Dakota ranks as the state with the fewest coronavirus restrictions are that it is one of only seven states that never had a mandate for all schools to close during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is the only state that never required a statewide closure of bars and restaurants. South Dakota has already lifted some of the restrictions it did implement, such as its ban on large gatherings, and it only recommends wearing a mask in public rather than requiring it like most states do.

The state rated second in returning freedom to its residents is Wisconsin where Democrat Tony Evers is governor. The state’s restrictions have changed drastically since the first WalletHub survey on coronavirus restrictions:

Wisconsin moved from 34 to 2, up 32 positions. This is due in part to the fact that the state has lifted all restrictions on large gatherings, had closed but fully re-opened restaurants and bars, has child care programs open and has fully reopened all non-essential businesses.

The other eight states in the Top 10 with the least restrictions are, in order, Idaho (Republican Gov. Brad Little), Missouri (Republican Gov. Mike Parson), Utah (Republican Gov. Gary Herbert), Wyoming (Republican Gov. Mark Gordon), Montana (Democrat Gov. Steve Bullock) Arizona (Republican Gov. Doug Ducey), North Dakota (Republican Gov. Doug Burgum) and Iowa (Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds).

“Arizona moved from 32 to 8, up 24 positions,” WalletHub reported. “This is due in part to the fact that the state has lifted all restrictions on large gatherings and has lifted all stay-at-home mandatory restrictions.”

Georgia fell from 11th to 28th in this latest survey:

Georgia moved from 11 to 28, down 17 positions. This is due in part to the fact that the state requires wearing a face mask in public and that the state still has its legislative sessions postponed.

The most restrictive states, from 41 to 51 in order, are: Michigan (Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer), New York (Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo), New Mexico (Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham), Washington (Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee), Hawaii (Democrat Gov. David Ige), Vermont (Republican Gov. Phil Scott) , Massachusetts (Republican Gov. Charlie Baker), District of Columbia (Democrat Mayor Muriel Bowser), Rhode Island (Democrat Gov. Gina Raimondo) and Illinois (Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker).

“Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the fewest restrictions,” WalletHub said of its survey methodology.

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