State and local governments around our region are reacting to the coronavirus pandemic. A new analysis finds some are more aggressive than others. The Mountain West states got the least aggressive ranking, with Wyoming ranked dead last.
The analysis by Wallethub, a personal finance website, rated each state on three criteria. First, prevention and containment of the virus. Second, potential risk factors like the state's poverty rate and third, the economic impact of the pandemic based on the state's leading industries and workforce.
Jill Gonzalez, a Wallethub analyst, said in regards to prevention and containment of the virus, Wyoming hasn't mandated any prevention measures.
"The governor recommended school closing, and then each school board figured out what to do from there. That's different from what most other states are doing. They're mandating school closures statewide instead of leaving it up to the individual county and boards to make the decisions," said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez added Wyoming has a huge risk factor in the economic impact.
"Wyoming relies heavily on things like national parks, tourism in that count, especially ramping up and getting into spring. So that's another area where Wyoming might not be as prepared as other states," she said.
Utah was the best performing state in our region at number 15. Gonzalez said that's in part because the state has one of the healthiest populations in the country. This gave them a higher score under potential risk factors. Montana ranked 26th, Colorado 35th, Idaho 38th, and Nevada 48th.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada, the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.