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“States should reevaluate their restrictions after Labor Day if there is a spike in COVID-19 due to mass gatherings. Ideally, states’ laws will both protect the health of their citizens and preserve economic activity, through measures like extensive rapid testing or strong penalties for noncompliance with mask mandates,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “If we have a robust system for detecting, tracking and preventing the spread of COVID-19, we can minimize the number of cases and consequently reduce the chances of needing widespread closures again.”
What long-term consequences will there be if schools remain closed for part or all of the fall semester?
“If schools remain closed for part or all of the fall semester, one positive impact will be that the spread of COVID-19 among children will be minimized,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Unfortunately, there are many negative consequences that come with keeping schools closed. Students are likely to learn less than they would through classroom instruction, and the achievement gap between wealthy and poor students is projected to widen. Parents with young children will need to make sure the children have supervision at home, which could mean that many parents may be unable to earn a living.”
Should states strictly enforce their COVID-19 restrictions?
“States should strictly enforce their COVID-19 restrictions because otherwise there is no incentive for people to follow the rules. If there are no consequences for disobeying a state’s mask mandate, for example, people will be more likely to try to enter crowded areas without masks, which in turn will contribute to the spread of the virus,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Fines are a good deterrent to make sure Americans follow COVID-19 restrictions, and enforcement will also minimize the need for citizens to play the police.”
Should states that see spikes in COVID-19 deaths just pause their reopening or reinstitute lockdowns?
“States with spikes in COVID-19 deaths should pause their reopening as well as make sure extra preventative measures are in place, like mandatory mask wearing and temperature checks at workplaces and busy transit hubs,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “It may be necessary to reinstitute lockdowns in some places at a micro level, in small communities that are experiencing especially high death and hospitalization rates.”
Why does South Dakota rank as the state with the fewest coronavirus restrictions?
“South Dakota ranks as the state with the fewest coronavirus restrictions in part because it has no restrictions on large gatherings and it is one of only five states that have not taken any action on face coverings in public,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “South Dakota does not require or recommend working from home, and it is one of only five states that never required non-essential businesses to close during the pandemic.”
California has experienced the most coronavirus cases overall in the U.S. How has that impacted the state’s restrictions?
“California has the second most coronavirus restrictions in the U.S.,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “The state has ordered regional school closures and has made face masks mandatory in public. California is one of only two states with a limited statewide quarantine in place, while a few other states put restrictions on high-risk individuals only. California is the only state to currently ban all gatherings, and all non-essential businesses in the state remain closed.”