MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A new study ranked South Carolina as the fifth worst state at handling the COVID-19 pandemic based on how effective each state’s response was.
The study, published by Sykes, found South Carolina had the fifth least effective response using data from January through March 2021. South Carolina also had the 4th most cases in 2021 per 100,000 residents.
Despite having the fifth least effective response to COVID-19, South Carolina ranked first in highest weekly growth of vaccine doses distributed in 2021, according to the data.
To determine rankings, Sykes looked at the average number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, the average test positivity, the average number of hospital admissions per 100 beds, the average percentage of hospitals with supply shortages, the average weekly growth rate of vaccine dose distribution per 100,000, the percent of vaccine doses used, the first states to issue mask mandates, and states with stay-at-home orders.
South Carolina had an overall score of 37.38. The state with the least effective response — Kentucky — had an overall score of 28.33, according to the study. The study found Hawaii had the most effective response with an overall score of 84.14.
Most of the states in the bottom 10 are in the south, according to the study. The only two states in the bottom 10 not in the south are New York and Utah.
New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Hawaii were the first states to issue mask mandates, according to the study. All but two of those states — Rhode Island and New Jersey — ranked in the top 10 for states with the most effective responses.
The study found that 42 of 50 states issued stay-at-home or safer-at-home orders. Arkansas, Utah, and Oklahoma didn’t issue them and all placed in the bottom 10. North Dakota also didn’t issue a stay-at-home order and placed in the top 10.
Florida placed in the bottom 10 for overall response, but did better addressing hospital supply shortages, according to the study.
Full state rankings (1 is best, 50 is worst):
- North Dakota
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
- New Jersey
- New Hampshire
- West Virginia
- North Carolina
- New York
- South Carolina
View the full study and methodology here.